Eye to Eye: Sho Kashima

| September 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

Sho Kashima competes at Heavenly Resort, his home mountain. Photo Courtesy Heavenly.

Written by Laney Olson

With the Sochi Olympics right around the corner, Heavenly Mountain Resort’s own freestyle skier, Sho Kashima, is gearing up to compete. Kashima has been competing the U.S. Ski Team since 2006. Since joining the team he has competed in the World Ski Championships three times, 2007, 2009, and 2011. In the 2011 World Cup, Kashima brought home a second and third place medal. He brought home another third place medal the following year. After suffering two knee injuries, Kashima is stronger and better than ever before, he says. We talked to Kashima about Sochi, his injuries and growing up in South Shore.

You grew up on Heavenly, how has that shaped who you are today? What draws you back to Heavenly after skiing around the world?

I grew up five minutes from Heavenly. They have a great program there and they still have it going.  I had a great coach there who just retired. He retired on a really good note and developed a lot of great athletes. My mom still lives in South Shore and I have a lot friends there. I definitely still consider the South Shore my home.

When did you decide skiing was going to be more than just a pastime for you?
WhenI was 19 I won a national championship and earned a spot on the US Ski Team. That event (was the moment.)

You are probably heading to the Sochi Olympics, what do you want achieve at there?
That’s the plan. The selection isn’t until December and there are 7 qualifiers before then but I’m feeling good and healthy. I feel I have a good chance of heading to the Olympics and picking up a medal while I’m there.

What does a regular day of training look like for you?
We do the water ramp 2-3 days a week, that’s just jumping into a pool with all our equipment to work on technique. We head to the gym 5-6 days (per week.) A lot of strength (training).We get some snow in over summer–in August we were in Chile. In a week we are heading to Switzerland.

How has your training prepared you for Sochi?

The routine this year has been different. I haven’t been working, I’ve been focusing on my skills and getting stronger after my injuries.

Tell us about the injuries you’ve suffered in the past. What kind of injury prevention are you doing now?

In January 2010, I tore my ACL, Meniscus and had bone damage in my left knee. Then in January 2012, I tore my ACL, meniscus, and broke my right knee. Recovery has been tough and long. It made me work as hard as I’ve ever worked before. I was in the gym a lot trying to get stronger than I was prior to the injuries. Being healthy has been fun and it’s been awesome.

On your blog you said 2011 was a low point in your life and your career. How did that inspire you and how were you able to bounce back?

It’s the times you go through the most adversity you learn the most about yourself. I was able to build on my mental strength. The only way you can make that a success is to learn from it. I’ve learned how to do things better, it’s helped out. My results have been more consistent since my injuries. The year after my first injury was one of my best years. I was getting second and third until my second injury. Going through the injuries has been almost a blessing.

What do you like to do when your not skiing?
I’m happy football season has started–I’m a huge football fan. It’s a fun thing to do on summer weekends. I’ve coached during the summer in Whistler and Mount Hood. I play golf a lot.

What is your favorite part about coaching?

It gives me a different prospective. When I was injured it was all I could do. It brought me back to fundamentals. I was able to think about my weaknesses. When I coach I focus on the weaknesses on the kids. It’s the only way you can improve as an athlete.

Do you see it as a post skiing career?
I guess but I hope not. I’m starting to wet my feet in the stock market and start my career.  I wouldn’t mind, but I’d rather not.


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