Sho moves forward
It was like any other moguls turn Sho Kashima has made during training with the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team. But this one delayed his Winter Games dream at least four years.
Kashima, who grew up on the South Shore and developed his love of freestyle skiing with the Heavenly Ski Foundation, suffered season-ending knee injuries Jan. 12 – only a month before the Vancouver Olympics.
“I was in control and felt it go,” said Kashima, who tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee while training for a pair of World Cup events at Deer Valley, Utah. “It actually didn’t hurt that bad. I was hoping it was a knee sprain, but when they put me in a sled and all of the coaches were at the bottom, I kind of had an idea.”
The two days of training at Deer Valley took its toll. Kashima said at least six skiers from around the world went down with knee injuries.
“It was pretty awful for about an hour … it was pretty emotional,” he said. “After that, it was time to move on.”
The 23-year-old Kashima has knee surgery scheduled with orthopedic surgeon Vernon Cooley on Tuesday in Park City. Kashima will remain in Park City for an indefinite period to rehabilitate his knee.
“It’s one day at a time now. I’ll go with the surgery and recovery this summer, then go from there,” Kashima said.
Kashima showed selflessness and commitment to his team by attending both singles competitions following his misfortune.
“I had to go root my teammates on,” Kashima said. “They have a good month ahead of them. I want to see them do well.”
Along with the Olympics, Kashima will miss out on the U.S. Freestyle Championships at Squaw Valley in March. Kashima is the defending duals champion.
“I’ll still be there. It will still be a good time,” he said.