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[ICE TIME] American Junior Taira Shinohara Details Successful Season and Ambitions Moving Forward

At the 2024 US Junior Championships, runner-up Taira Shinohara showed his skating skills, including the thrill of landing two triple axels in the free skate.



Taira Shinohara
Taira Shinohara (Melanie Heaney/US FIGURE SKATING)

Read the full story on SportsLook - [ICE TIME] American Junior Taira Shinohara Details Successful Season and Ambitions Moving Forward

After a season that saw him finish second at the US Junior Championships and win the Bavarian Open in the same month (January 2024), rising skater Taira Shinohara took the time recently to reflect on his achievements. He's also looking forward to the 2024-25 campaign.

Shinohara, who will turn 18 on May 11, will have a lot on his plate later this summer and into the fall. He is certain to get assignments to compete in the Junior Grand Prix while preparing for his senior year of high school and submitting college applications.

The Schaumburg, Illinois, native, whose parents hail from Hokkaido and Kyushu, sent Ice Time his thoughts on the coming months in an email message in early April.

"At nationals, I experienced a mix of emotions. While I stumbled on the axel during the short program due to the pressure of the event, I was determined to make a strong comeback in the free skate," Shinohara wrote. "Landing two triple axels was a moment of excitement for me. Despite some mid-program mishaps, I drew on the extensive preparation I had undergone and finished with a score that placed me on the podium."

Reflections on Finishing Runner-Up at the US Junior Nationals

Shinohara, who trains in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, admitted that he was hoping to take home the gold at the US juniors in Columbus, Ohio, in January. When it was over, he was the runner-up behind Lucius Kazanecki with a score of 198.08 points.


"Although not clinching the top spot was a bit disappointing, standing on the nationals podium has been a lifelong dream of mine, and achieving second place was a significant accomplishment," Shinohara assessed.

Taira Shinohara
Taira Shinohara, the 2024 Bavarian Open men's junior champion. (Melanie Heaney/US FIGURE SKATING)

'A Whirlwind of Experiences'

The Bavarian Open was held in Oberstdorf, Germany, and Shinohara won his first international competition there with a tally of 193.87 on January 31. He was clearly thrilled with his win and the chance to visit another country.

Noting "the Bavarian Open was a whirlwind of experiences," Shinohara added, "The short program was a personal triumph, marked by a clean routine that earned me a personal best score (77.27). However, the free skate presented its challenges, particularly with an attempted quad toe that didn't go as planned."

Added Shinohara, "Nevertheless, maintaining my lead from the short program and clinching victory in the junior men's event amidst the international competition was incredibly rewarding. Beyond the competition itself, the time spent with fellow skaters from around the world and the opportunity to explore Oberstdorf and Munich made the event truly unforgettable."

Taira Shinohara
Taira Shinohara (US FIGURE SKATING)

Shinohara Looks Ahead to the 2024-25 Season

Shinohara, who previously cited Yuzuru Hanyu's triumph at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics as a catalyst for his skating, indicated that he is enthusiastic about the 2024-25 season.

"Looking ahead to next season, I'm excited about the changes and challenges it will bring," Shinohara declared. "With choreography from Jason Brown and Scott Brown, I'm eager to elevate my performances at the senior level domestically and aim for further success on the international junior circuit. Incorporating quads into my routines marks a significant progression in my skating journey, and I'm setting my sights on competing in JGPs and senior nationals."

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Jack Gallagher

The author is a veteran sports journalist and one of the world's foremost figure skating experts. Find articles and podcasts by Jack on his author page, and find him on X (formerly Twitter) @sportsjapan.