by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Spark Photography

Flying with Invisible Wings

student_xu4Only seven years old, Mira Mesa resident Vaness Xu started ice skating when she was three, and is now the youngest skater in her level six class. Convenience to many ice rinks is one of the main reasons she loves living in Mira Mesa, but she also loves being close to the long list of Asian restaurants and markets in the vicinity. A second grader at Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School, Vaness likes the teachers and her schoolmates best. “I learn a lot from the teachers, and the schoolmates are very friendly.”

“My favorite subjects in school are drawing, reading, writing, and PE,” Vaness shared. “I am free to use my imagination when I draw. Reading introduces me to new worlds. In writing, I can create my own stories and read them to other people, and I can stay active all the time in PE.” Outside of school, she likes soccer and swimming, and has a new favorite activity in chess, which she started learning after school last year. Vaness has already won her first chess tournament, at the 2018 American Youth Championship, competing in the age K-6 non-rated section and winning all 10 games to receive the first place trophy. Another favorite pastime is reading, with fictional novels, National Geographic magazine for kids, and Chinese poems topping her reading list.


Name: Vaness Xu (7)
School: Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School
Grade: 2
Parents: Youyuan Xu (mother) and Wei Wang (father)
Sibling: Zephyr Wang (5)
Favorite Local Spot: Scripps Miramar Ranch Library

In skating, Vaness has been competing, just like she does in chess. In the same level competitions, she is always the youngest one and has won two first place and three third place awards. As far as her inspiration, “I look up to Yuna Kim,” she explained. “She is very graceful on the ice and has won Olympic championships. I will work hard to improve my skills for competitions.” She’s always at her best during figure skating, because it’s like dancing on ice to the music. Her entire body, including her brain, coordinates so she can move smoothly across the cold surface. “When I go fast, I feel like I am flying with invisible wings, and into the sky when I jump,” Vaness smiled. “The world is peaceful yet rhythmic.” And while Vaness continues to enjoy her childhood figure skating, she hopes to someday become a police officer when she grows up. “I want to protect and help people,” explained Vaness.