INTERVIEW w/ Kim Sung Jin

"I am looking for a new way to perform my skating…"


Polina Semenova for

Video by SlalomTimTeam and Kim Sung Jin

Photo by Tiphaine Bourbon and Sebaskates

June 2014

Credit : Sebaskates
Credit : Sebaskates

He does not need any introduction. He is an idol for many, if not for all the skaters. Kim Sung Jin came to Paris during the Paris Slalom World Cup to meet and support the participants. Here is a short interview with the King ot the Freestyle :


P.S. You participated 4 times at the PSWC (2009-2012), you won the Classic and the Battle competitions three times. Since that time the world ranking has changed a lot. What has changed for you since the moment you were the world number one?

KSJ. A lot of things have changed for me since the time i was on the top of the world ranking. When i was competing i had to train all the time to improve, to be the best. Being on the top means that you have to work a lot to prove your title. Now i can skate for fun without any goals. Enjoying the slalom, i am looking for a new way to perform my skating.

P.S. What has evolved since that time?

KSJ. The level of the technical tricks is so high now, especially the sittings elements, which i can't even repeat now. So many skaters have improved a lot! Michał Sulinowski (Pol), Alexandre Claris (Fra), Zhang Hao (Chn) and many others.

Kim Sung Jin and Zhang Hao at the PSWC / Credit : Tiphaine Bourbon
Kim Sung Jin and Zhang Hao at the PSWC / Credit : Tiphaine Bourbon

P.S. What is the difference between Men's and Women's Slalom now?

KSJ. The only difference for me, is flexibility. Women are much more flexible for such tricks as a cobra, for example. The technical level is almost the same. Now, women are as strong as the men.

P.S. In your opinion, who is the most potential skater from the current competitors? Who will lead the freestyle world rankings next?

KSJ. There are many young potential skaters this year. Sawangsri Kanchanok (Tha), Zhang Hao (Chn), Sergey Timchenko (Rus), all of them are very young but quite strong. What about the ranking, as i know, Pu Hao Yang (Chn) will come back to the competitions soon. So probably he will be able to replace the first of the world ranking.

P.S. What about you? What are you doing now? Are you still skating? What's new - any changes or new projects?

KSJ. Now i stay in China to work and to promote skating as much as i can. For sure i am still skating but not that much as before. I try to combine my skating and dancing skills together. I would like to make a new kind of skating video. I hope to inspire more people to get attention to the skating and the freestyle slalom. The name of the project is "nonstop sk8 movie". We made a try with chinese skaters and it worked quite well. I hope the others will try to do something similar.

Nonstop Sk8 Movie

Kim Sung Jin & Michał Sulinowski

P.S. This time, the third place of the Freestyle Classic Women competition went to the young but potential Camilla Morbidoni from Italy. She said that she improved so much thanks to you. You inspired her during your master-class in Italy and helped her to create her classic run. Are you proud of your student?

KSJ. I came to Italy for one week master-class one year ago. I wanted the young skaters to improve the technical level and style skill thanks a good tricks base. That's my way - you should always start with the basic things and improve them to the high level step by step. Camilla asked me to help with the classic run. All the time i was there i worked with her to improve her style and choreography. Then we communicated by internet to create her run. Now, one year later, we can see the results. She made a very good performance. I am so happy and satisfied. I really hope she will improve even more in the future.

Morbidoni Camilla, Classic run in the PSWC

P.S. Camilla's improvement shows that you are a great coach as well. Which advice would you give to the young skaters? How to become a champion?

KSJ. To become the best you should start with the simple things. Don't try to do the hardest tricks right away. It's important to have the base to improve it after. Be strong and balanced and keep training. 

During competitions i was always trying to do my best and not to be too risky. I never showed the tricks in a contest if it wasn't prepared well, only when i was sure 100% to execute it properly.

KSJ's Workshop

Polina Semenova for

  June 2014