Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

On the slopes: For Heavenly’s Sho Kashima, an Olympic berth remains the goal

0115 Sho KashimaW

Sho Kashima does an aerial stunt with Lake Tahoe in the background. Kashima hopes to make the Olympic ski team and compete in moguls events. Kirk Paulsen/ Courtesy photo

By
From page B3 | January 15, 2014 | Leave Comment

Like many aspiring Olympic athletes, Sho Kashima has experienced his share of setbacks.

The worst one: Clearly a knee injury just prior to the key qualifying time period for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. That ranks right at the top for Kashima, who has skied at Heavenly Mountain resort in Lake Tahoe since his skis were nearly as tall as his childhood self.

A world-class moguls freestyle skier for the past seven years, Kashima suffered an ACL and meniscus injury to his left knee that ended his 2010 season, and more importantly, his Olympic hopes.

“It was very disappointing. It’s tough to sit on the sidelines and watch the events that I love to do,” said Kashima, who hadn’t secured a spot on the 2010 U.S. team, but had three events left on the schedule when he got hurt.

However, Kashima also says there was an upside to his situation.

“It taught me a lot about myself and it was a good learning experience for the future,” he said. “It also fueled the fire to work extremely hard in rehab and do it correctly.”

That rehab has led to Kashima being practically in the same situation he was four years ago — on the cusp of making the U.S. Olympic team in the moguls event.

This past week, Kashima was in Deer Valley ski resort in Utah, seeking more points at the World Cup event in his quest to earn the coveted Olympic berth. In two separate events, Kashima had a sixth and a 14th place finish at Dear Valley, and is now 10th in the World Cup mogul standings.

Kashima believed his Olympic breakthrough would occur in 2010. He enjoyed a career-best season in 2009 (eighth in World Cup rankings) and began the 2010 season looking strong with a pair of World Cup top-10 finishes.

However, a blown knee sustained while preparing for the Deer Valley World Cup in January ended his season early and put his Olympic dreams on hold.

More disappointment arrived two years ago. He was ranked third on the World Cup tour when another knee injury in 2012 put Kashima back on the rehab road. However, he rebounded last season.

Despite only five starts in 2013, Kashima had three top-10 results and earned both a second and a third-place finish at the U.S. National Championships at Heavenly. Performing so well in front of his hometown fans naturally made the accomplishment even sweeter to savor.

“Two podiums here at my home mountain is pretty incredible,” Kashima said after the event. “I didn’t have a full season coming back from injury and this is proof that when I trust my skiing good things will happen. To feel the support here from everyone I grew up with makes me want to pull out some good results for them, and I’m so happy I was able to do that twice for them.”

Kashima was born in West Texas and his life took a dramatic change when his father moved to South Lake Tahoe and took a job with Heavenly. Sho Kashima naturally started skiing early — on skis by age 4 — and quickly found his passion.

He grew up at Heavenly and idolized Jonny Moseley, who skied at Squaw Valley and was the 1998 Olympic gold medalist in moguls. Kashima was also inspired by other Tahoe legends like Travis Cabral (ninth at the 2006 Olympics), Travis Ramos and Chris Hernandez.

It didn’t hurt Kashima that his training ground was virtually his backyard — Heavenly’s famed Gunbarrel run, a straight shot down the mountain full of demanding, deep moguls.

“Gunbarrel is a challenging, long course,” Kashima said. “It is a world-class course, and I was lucky to be able to grow up and learn on one of the best venues in the world.”

For Kashima, the adrenaline of skiing moguls and doing aerial stunts is exhilarating. However, at age 28 he sees the curtain coming down soon on his skiing career. This will be his final shot at the Olympics.

“I wouldn’t be back after my injuries if I didn’t think I had a shot at making the team,” Kashima said. “I have a pretty good result so far in World Cup; I have three more events to improve and lock a spot on the roster.”

Kashima says that making the Olympic team is only the first part of his goal. “I want an Olympic medal.”

Although he hasn’t considered how it will feel if the Olympic berth eludes him, he does know where his future lies, and it won’t be on the slopes.

“I’m not 100-percent certain if I’ll ski past this year,” Kashima said. “I may do one more year at the very most. It’s time to get the rest of my life going, I’ve put that on hold for long enough. I may finish up my finance degree and continue what I’m doing in the market. I’ve been in the market for a few years; I would love to do some consulting or financial management.”

But right now the only thing he’s focused on managing is his ski career.

—Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com. Visit his winter website at www.tahoeskiworld.com

Jeffrey Weidel

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
4-H members get ready for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
MOMS Club plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6