Jia Shin “A bit disappointed by postponed senior debut but acknowledged that she has a lot to improve and prepare for in the junior level.”
Translation of the article about 2023 Junior World Championships silver medalist, Korean single skater Jia Shin.
source: huffingtonpost.kr dd. 2023.04.06 by Kim Yang-hee
Her expressions are truly rich. When she smiles brightly, the surroundings become so much brighter. However, once she steps onto the ice, she becomes daring. On the ice, she soars fearlessly. She is Shin Jia, a 15-year-old figure skater from Yeongdong Middle School. Shin Jia achieved a silver medal at the ISU Figure Skating World Junior Championships, the first time since Kim Yuna (silver medal in 2005, gold medal in 2006) 16 years ago. And this year, she confidently succeeded in earning another silver medal.
Shin Jia is not a ‘Yuna Kid.’ Born in 2008, she didn’t witness Kim Yuna’s performances during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics or the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Her start in figure skating was purely coincidental. At the age of 7, when an ice rink opened near her home in Busan, she tried skating and said, ‘It was so much fun,’ leading her to start her journey in figure skating.
Shin Jia, who met with the reporter at the Mokdong Ice Rink in Seoul on the 28th of last month, said, “My mom did like figure skating,” and added, “When Kim Yuna was performing at the Sochi Olympics, she didn’t do well during the warm-up before the short program, but regardless of that, she delivered a clean performance, and I thought it was so cool.”
In the beginning, she fell a lot on the ice. However, she said, “Just standing on the ice was fun itself, and when I successfully landed a single axel, I was so thrilled.” As she succeeded in each triple jump, the “exciting experience” grew with each one. In the fourth grade of elementary school, she once severely injured her tailbone from a fall, but her only thought was, “I still want to get back on the ice as soon as possible.”
Shin Jia’s strongest point is her “clean jumps.” SBS figure skating commentator Lee Ho-jeong mentioned, “Shin Jia excels in jumps, spins, steps, and the artistic elements as well,” and added, “She mainly focuses on the triple jumps, and her jump quality is exceptionally good, earning her high scores in the grade of execution.”
Sometimes, it can be scary to jump on the slippery ice. More so if you are not feeling well. Nevertheless, for Shin Jia, the ice rink is the “most exciting place.” Her most confident jumps are the triple flip and the triple lutz. She uses the expression “feels solid,” which likely means that she has a strong basic sills.
Shin Jia not only won the 2023-2024 National Team Selection Competition 1st Round but also emerged victorious in the 2nd Round. With her mature and polished performances beyond her age, she surpassed other “senior” skaters like Lee Hain and Kim Yelim. During the 2nd Round, despite colliding with the board after a jump, she showed remarkable composure in completing the rest of her program. The competition that remains most memorable for her is the Junior Grand Prix Final in December 2022, where she felt completely satisfied without any regrets. At that event, she stood on the podium (silver medal) for the first time in 17 years since Kim Yuna. This is why Shin Jia is often referred to as the “Little Kim Yuna.”
Shin Jia will finally make her senior debut in the 2025-2026 season, leading up to the 2026 Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Olympics. The reason for the delayed debut is related to the doping issues surrounding Russian athletes, prompting the ISU to raise the age minimum for senior competition participation. For the 2023-2024 season, the age minimum was set at 16 years, and starting from the 2024-2025 season, it was raised to 17 years. Previously, it was 15 years until the 2022-2023 season.
Although Shin Jia’s senior debut was postponed, she expressed that she feels a bit disappointed but acknowledged that she still needs to work on her performance expression, jumps, and spins, as she has a lot to improve and prepare for in the junior level. Figure skating commentator Lee Ho-jeong advised that if she gains sufficient experience on big stages like the Junior World Championships during her junior years, she should be well-prepared for her senior debut and emphasized that avoiding injuries during this period is most important.
When stress builds up, Shin Jia likes to go eat tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) with her friends and spend time at home with her French Bulldog, Mimi. She enjoys the cartoon character “Jjanggu” (a character from the Korean cartoon “Doraemon”) and recently watched the movie “Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s New Dinosaur” in theaters. As a figure skater, her biggest goal is to qualify for the Olympics. When asked how close she feels to her dream, she confidently answered “40%,” and she added that she is currently putting in more than 120% effort to fulfill the remaining 60%.
Ultimately, Shin Jia wants to be remembered as an “impeccable skater” without any flaws in jumps, spins, steps, and artistic expression. She also expressed her desire to receive a standing ovation after her final performance. Despite her petite height (152 cm) due to still being in her growth phase, Shin Jia’s passion on the ice is larger than anyone else’s. With her limitless potential for growth fueled by her 120% effort, “Shin Jia’s Unstoppable” might soon be showing on the ice.
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