The national event, held at the TD Garden in Boston from Jan. 5 to Jan. 12, included skating categories for separate disciplines and skill levels. Shum competed at the junior level, and skated both a short program and a “long” free skate program.
“Overall, it was a good nationals for me,” Shum said.
Shum placed seventh in the short program and fourth in the long program, combined placing sixth overall. He said that although he is happy with his placement, he felt that his long free skate program was stronger.
“In the short I was a bit cautious and that kind of showed in my placement,” Shum said. “But in the long I think I really went for it 100 percent and I think that showed as well.”
Shum said that he did not expect much going into nationals because of his late start in preparing for the competition.
“I was injured and got back on the ice in July, after that I kept pushing so that I could make it to nationals,” Shum said. “I didn’t have a placement in mind, I just wanted to see how I would do.”
As well as recovering from his injury, Shum also experienced difficulties with his skating boots throughout the season.
“I went through three pairs of boots this season and skaters generally go through one pair a year, so it was crazy to have to deal with that,” Shum said
However despite the challenges, Shum said that he is happy with how the skating season ended for him.
“It was a long process getting to where I was at nationals,” Shum said. “And I am happy with how it all came together.”
Although Shum has competed at nationals in the past, this year was his first time competing at the junior level.
“I think I have been to nationals seven times before, but his was my first time competing as a junior man,” Shum said.
He said that his favorite part about nationals was traveling to Boston to skate.
“It’s amazing [in Boston] and it’s always nice to go to such a nice place to compete,” Shum said.
Shum said that it was also an exciting year at nationals because it is an Olympic year.
“It was really fun to watch the senior skaters compete for a spot in the Olympics,” Shum said.
Shum said that after nationals, he will be spending more time making up work and studying for the SATs.
“I focused a lot of my time to skating and now that my season is done I’ll be spending more time on academics,” Shum said.
Shum said that he is excited for the upcoming skating season because he will skate in his first international competition. After nationals, Shum was given a Junior Grand Prix assignment, an international event this coming fall.
“I have to start preparing for the international competition as well as for the summer competitions as soon as I get back,” Shum said.
Junior Min Hong Yang said that she is proud of Kevin’s achievements at nationals.
“I know he puts a lot of effort into skating and it amazes me to think that he has kept his passionate belief in figure skating for all these years,” Yang said.
Shum said he looks forward to his future as a skater, and is proud of his accomplishments so far.
“It was definitely all worth it,” Shum said. “This is what I do and this is what I have been doing for a long time.”