Sho Kashima is picking up right where he left off.
Well almost, in his opinion.
In his first race back since knee surgery, the Heavenly skier placed fourth on a steep dual moguls course Sunday in Inawashiro, Japan. Kashima's fourth-place finish contributed to the U.S. Ski Team taking three of the top four spots in both the men and women's competition. All 13 U.S. athletes made it into the finals rounds.
Kashima was happy to get his first competition out of the way, but felt he was capable of better.
"I guess it's a good starting point," Kashima said. "On both days I got to take the maximum amount of runs, basically giving myself a shot at podium, but on the last day I had some major mistakes and just didn't end up getting it done."
Fourth place in his first race back doesn't sound like he " just didn't end up getting it done," but Kashima didn't get to where he is today, eight years on the US Ski team and a top contender for the 2014 Olympics, by accepting pretty good.
He has three more World Cup starts this season to prove it, and he plans on making the most of them.
"I've only got a limited amount of opportunities to get in the gate this year," Kashima said.
Kashima's next race with the U.S. Ski Team will be the World Championships, which run March 5-10 in Voss, Norway.
"I missed traveling with my teammates and it was really good to get back into competition," Kashima said. "I've been itching to get back all year."