The Canada Winter Games were a high flying success for Elmira’s Nathan Shuh.The Grade 12 student at Elmira District Secondary School won two silver medals in trampoline at the prestigious competition in Prince George, B.C. on February 24-25.
“Honestly, I was just happy to be there, let alone to come away with two silver medals,” Shuh said. “I knew we had a good shot with the team (event) because Ontario is a very deep province in trampoline, but individually, I didn’t know what to expect because there were so many talented athletes taking part.”
The Canada Winter Games pits the nation’s top athletes against each other, province versus province, every four years.
Shuh, who trains at the K-W Airborne gym in Kitchener, earned his spot on team Ontario with a strong showing at the qualifier last December.
Now, with his outstanding performance at the Winter Games, Shuh has jumped up to a whole new level.
“I was really over the moon with my performance, because just ten minutes before I competed my finals optional, I put it together for the first time, because I saw the Quebecer athletes and realized that they were really good and I needed to step up my game.”
During the training phases of the competition, Shuh added a triple front flip element to his program, making the routine “by far the hardest I had ever competed.”
And it paid off.
After finishing the preliminary flights in third, Shuh scored a 35.700 in the finals to earn the silver.
“It was a progression through the games because we had two training days and I started working on (the new routine) the first day and little by little the routine started evolving,” Shuh explained. “I finally got through the routine in the warm up period before I competed it. Considering how much time I had been working on it, I don’t think I could have done it much better than I did.”
Overall, the games were a special experience, Shuh said.
Spending the week in British Columbia afforded the 17-year-old the opportunity to watch other events, get to know athletes from across the country and the chance to attend the closing ceremony.
“It was really cool to get to watch the other athletes compete and get to see what their normal is, because it is extraordinary to me,” he said. “Just like when they get to watch me compete they get to see my normal, which is extraordinary to them.”
Next up, Shuh will head to Oshawa this weekend for a qualifier event for the nationals, and next weekend he’ll head back to B.C. to compete in the Canada Cup for a chance to make the 2015 world championships, which will take place in Odense, Denmark in November.
After that, the sky is the limit.