“phichit, why do you skate?”
Phichit is a child of the tropics.
He may spend half of his life on the ice but the ocean will always be his home. He may be familiar with the bite of the cold but he loves the warmth that Thailand brings him. There’s something about the ebb and flow of the ocean, of the warm water that surrounds his ankles when he stands on shore to watch the sunset that grounds him, that reminds him of all the reasons why he skates thinking about his home.
He knows sunlight like he knows toe loops and triple axels. He knows sunlight like weekends at the beach with his sister, playing around in the warm sand and climbing rocks much dangerous than the ice he falls on every once in a while. The ice may be unforgiving, the jagged, rough rocks even worse, but the ocean understands. Where he gets hurt, the ocean heals with saltwater. He knows sunlight like the unforgiving summer months where the light feels like it’s piercing through his skin, making him darker, making him feel like a god among men.
He knows warmth like his mom’s cooking food in the afternoon when she has the food frying and , enveloping the entire house in the beautiful aroma of pad krapow moo, the cooking that he always misses when he’s competing abroad. He knows warmth like lifting the pan and being greeted by a flood of steam to see what’s for dinner tonight. He knows warmth and renewal like monsoons during the summer, where he and his sister and cousins would run outside when the roads start flooding, splashing around in the water. He knows warmth like street vendors in Bangkok, where the steam from pots and frying pans make his shirt stick to his skin, creating even more sweat during the humidity from the summer months.
“Why do you skate, Phichit?”
He skates because of home. Because despite having travelled in numerous countries, he knows Thailand is one of the most beautiful. He’s disappointed when he talks with foreigners, having only known Thai cuisine and nothing else. Thai food is wonderful! He wants to yell. But my country is also beautiful! He skates because he wants to show how beautiful his home Thailand is, not only Thailand but the entirety of Southeast Asia, united with tropical weather, warmth, and comfort. United with the Pacific Ocean connected as one but unique in every cultural aspect.
He skates because he wants to do the impossible: he wants to show everyone what warmth feels like in a sport so, so cold
“I skate because I love my home and I love the tropics. And I want everyone to feel the love of the Southeast Asian sun.”