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2015, here I come!

Wow. What a year 2014 has been. I started off my comeback from an ankle injury with a solid showing in Junior Men at the US Championships, which qualified me for my first international competition. Over the summer, I trained intensively with Olympic coaches in LA, preparing two brand new programs--a passionate tango piece to Astor Piazzolla's "Invierno porteño" and a powerful free skate set to the Thor: The Dark World and Kingdom of Heaven soundtracks--for the 2014-15 season and an increased technical content. 

In September, I competed at my first JGP event--the 2014 ISU JGP Nagoya Cup, in Aichi, Japan. To say the least, I had an amazing time performing to a supportive audience, bonding with my fellow teammates, and brushing up on my rusty conversational Japanese skills. I capped off 2014 with my first Sectional title in Spokane, WA with two solid performances in the short and long program. 

Here I am now in 2015 ready for the 2015 US Championships. Once again, I will be competing in Greensboro, NC, host of the 2011 US Championships. I have fond memories of my first US Championships nearly four years ago, and the welcoming Southern Hospitality. I look forward to improving on my performances of this past year and reaching new heights in 2015. 

Finally, I send a big thank you to all of you out there supporting and cheering me on. Happy New Year!

Spending the first days of 2015 relaxing in Newport Beach




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Summer update (2014)

Taken pre-summer 2014, so kinda cheating here. But its the Golden Gate so that's okay, right?

Summer is over--well, meaning school-wise. To think that this is my last summer as a high schooler is unbelievable. Just. One. More. Year. 

Even got a chance to get a pic with Michelle Kwan when she visited!

Anyways, just wanted to give you guys a quick update on my skating. In the past two months, I have been training in supersunny Los Angeles, and while I was down in SoCal, I skated my newly-choreographed programs at two summer competitions. Training has been tough--no surprises here--but my skating has improved tremendously since I first arrived. My first JGP assignment is coming up in less than a month! *Insert superwide grin here.*

Since school is starting again, I have no other option but to return back to the not-so-sunny-but-still-amazing NorCal and to sacrifice my precious training time for completing dreadful homework assignments (I'm scheduled to take 4 APs!) and preparing my college apps for the fall. Fun stuff, indeed. 

I'll try my best to keep you all updated, especially as the 2015 skating season commences in a few weeks!

- Kevin

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Season in review (2014)

My respective long and short costumes. 

The 2013-2014 season has finally come to an end. 

This season marked my return to the competitive scene after a year-and-a-half hiatus due to a nagging ankle injury. I returned back onto the ice in the late summer of '13, gradually readjusting to the feeling of blades on ice.  As I regained most of my strength in my right ankle, I slowly taught myself to jump again--starting with single jumps and on to doubles, and eventually, triples. 

I got new programs--"Clocks" by 2CELLO for my short and music from The Lone Ranger for the free skate--choreographed in late-July/early August, passed my Junior free skate test, and competed in a few local competitions in the fall. I received a bye to the 2014 Pacific Coast Sectional Championships in November and finished in 3rd place, which qualified me for Nationals in early January.  Concurrently, junior year was gearing up in full swing, and I was juggling a full schedule with four weighted classes along with the demands of training for Nationals. 

I placed a respectable 6th at the 2014 U.S. National Championships held in Boston with two clean performances--and triple-triples in both programs as well! I had very little expectations coming into Boston, as I was still re-familiarizing myself with the sport--training, jumping, and especially, competing--after taking such a long break. 

A few weeks later, I received news that I would be representing the USA at my first international competition, Challenge Cup, in The Hague, Netherlands. I was beyond ecstatic that I was selected onto Team USA, especially after receiving the coveted and my long-awaited Team USA jacket and other related team gear. And traveling to this competition would mark my first time setting foot on European soil--another added plus!

For the next month, I trained intensively. I was in better shape than I ever had been, both pre- and post-injury, and had increased the difficulty of both my programs with the addition of a 3Lz3T combination in both and a 3F in my free skate. However, two weeks before my departure date, my skates started breaking down. I frantically switched to a new pair of boots, which broke down in less than four days, and ultimately switched to a new brand (I'm now in Graf's). Throughout the process of having to break into new skates, I not only lost a week-and-a-half of precious training time but confidence in my jumps as well. Nonetheless, in the days leading up to my departure, I had regained most, if not all, of my confidence, and most importantly, my boots were in prime operative mode and everything seemed to be falling back into place at just the right time. 

I arrived in the Netherlands with hope and optimism that all would work out for the better. I ended up in 5th overall, after placing 3rd in the short and 6th in the long program. In the short program, I fell on the easiest jump, a 2A, near the end of my program. My free skate, in contrast, was a entirely different story. I slipped on the entrance flying sit spin early in the program and suffered a hard fall (and bruise) to my entire left side. I made several more mistakes after that, missing both 2A's, and unfortunately, I couldn't make it up point-wise to maintain a podium finish. Afterwards, despite the my strokes of bad luck leading up to this event, I was quite disappointed with not showing what I was capable of. I took this entire competition, however, as yet another learning experience that I could build off of in the future. On a brighter note, I did meet some amazing people throughout the competition, not only my teammates, but other competitors from various nations as well. 

With the end of the 2014 season marks the beginning of the upcoming 2014-2015 season. In the meantime, I'll be here at home in California continuing both my studies and training. I look forward to yet another exciting year in skating and hope to continue the momentum from the past season in the coming year. I'll keep you all updated!

- Kevin

 

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Kevin to make his international debut at the 2014 Challenge Cup

Big news! I have been assigned to compete at the 2014 Challenge Cup in The Hague, Netherlands, which will be held from March 6 to March 9. Words cannot express how greatly honored and excited I am to be making my international debut in a few weeks. Be sure to check out my blog in the coming weeks as I will be posting blog updates and photos throughout the competition.

Until then, see you soon in the Netherlands!

Sporting my new Team USA apparel

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Looking back on 2013

Celebrating Kevin Shum Day on the eve of 2014 in front of Oakland's City Hall

Looking back on 2013 as a whole, it's been one extremely tough journey—full of ups and downs, successes and disappointments, achievements and obstacles–and yet, I've remarkably managed to get to where I am right now, right here, stronger than ever. In retrospect, I’ve definitely matured and learned a great deal more about myself throughout the course of the year.

One of my biggest ‘developments’ or obstacles that I've faced this past year was returning back onto the ice and getting back into my pre-injured shape. It's been less than five months since I successfully returned to the competitive scene, and with the 2014 U.S. National Championships less than a week away, it’s almost felt too surreal that I will be skating among the best of the best and it's the Olympic year. Despite all the struggles I've faced--and continue to face--I feel so fortunate, grateful, and blessed to have been able to end the year on such a strong note. I have so much to be thankful for, especially for all the support I've received from my coaches, my close buddies, and my mom every step of the way. 

So here's to 2014: the start of a new year, the promise of new opportunities, new endeavors, and new experiences that hopefully will enrich our lives for the better. Hoping for an even greater, more exciting year ahead--2014, here I come!

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Fall update

I started my junior year last week.  Unfortunately due to the combination of my training schedule, school, and SAT prep, I will only be able to blog occasionally until I adjust to this my hectic and busy schedule. 

So far, in the past month, skating-wise:

  • I passed my Junior free skate test and will be competing in Junior Men this year.

Me next to the competition arena

  • I competed for the first time in more than one-and-a-half years at a small, local competition. Since I was the only competitor, it felt more like I "performed," not competed. It was nice to get out there and skate in front of judges for the first time since my injury.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feed (link is on the right) and get notified when new posts are published! 

 - Kevin

 

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