At the age of 21, Kevin Alves' accomplishments are nothing short of incredible. In 2008, he was the first male skater to represent Brazil at any ISU Championship. Since then, he was helped raise interest in the sport of figure skating in South America, competing at the World Championships twice, the Four Continents Championships four times and the World Junior Championships twice as well. Kevin is not only a charismatic and FUN skater to watch (who knows how to work a crowd), but his charisma and natural stage presence have translated into careers in modelling and acting. He is well known for his role as Fab on TV's "Degrassi: The Next Generation". Fighting back from injury, Kevin is now diving skates first back into the sport he loves and is training hard for the 2013/2014 figure skating season, where he hopes to become the first Brazilian men's skater to qualify for the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. I had the pleasure of interviewing this crazy talented skater and person:
Q: When people think figure skating, they don't necessarily think Brazil. What is figure skating like in South America and how has it has been to be a pioneer in bringing Brazilian skaters to the forefront?
A: Yes, It is true that Brazil is not known for its strength in numbers when it comes to figure skating but it has been amazing to see how much the sport has been growing in our country for the last 5 years. We went from having no skaters at all to have 3 skaters break through the top 100 in the ISU world rankings. I feel honored to be a part of the beginning of skating in Brazil.
Q: How has it worked training in North America and representing Brazil? Did you have to travel there regularly for a National Championship, etc.?
A: In the past, Brazil has used Four Continents as a way of deciding our ranking in Brazil so I have not had the opportunity to compete at nationals in Brazil yet but I have been down to Brazil numerous times in the past few years where I did take time to go skate at the rinks in Brazil. It was an amazing experience to see all the talented little skaters there and get to show them the things that they can one day do on the ice if they keep following their dreams.
Q: What is your biggest skating accomplishment to date? Your favourite performance?
A: My biggest accomplishment to date in the sport of Figure skating was probably being 27th at the World Championships in 2010 when I beat Nobunari Oda from Japan. My favorite performance ever was just a few weeks ago in Italy when I brought my "Samba Hop" program back for the first time since 2010. It was just so much fun because I love that program and the crowd was great, even the judges were smiling the whole time J not to mention I broke my personal best score in the short program.
Q: At what age did you start skating and where do you currently train?
A: I start skating when I was 7 years old and I currently train at the Richmond Training Center in Canada. Check out the Twitter page for our rink at http://twitter.com/richmondTC.
Q: In addition to being a very talented figure skater, you're also quite a popular actor, with a current role on "Degrassi: The Next Generation". How did you first get into acting and what has been your favourite role so far?
A: I got into acting when I was young and being a skater also made me love performing even more. I did some commercials when I was younger but put acting on hold when I was 14 to focus on skating. Last year when I was injured I had more time again to focus a bit on Acting so it has been great to book roles on a few shows but my favorite was working on Degrassi because my character to this date was very ambiguous and I love that. Now that I am healthy again, I am now focusing on the Olympics this year.
Q: Do you plan on competing next season?
A: Absolutely! I have already competed in Slovenia and Italy this past month and am going to compete in the USA in Buffalo in May. All roads lead to going after the Olympic spot for my country.
Q: Who are your figure skating idols?
A: My biggest figure skating Idol is Kurt Browning because as a kid he showed me how much fun skating and performing can be. I have had the privilege of working with him on my "Samba Hop" short program.
Q: What is your most embarrassing moment so far?
A: I do not get embarrassed easily but when it comes to skating I have one. In 2009 at the Four Continents Championships in Vancouver, I landed triple flip and triple lutz for the first time in competition during my short program and I became so excited that I rushed my easy double axel and fell on that :P Still was a big moment for me in moving forward as a skater and taught me to stay focused till the end of every program.
Q: What's your favourite song at the moment?
A: "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake because he is a genius and "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" by Michel Telo because it is such a feel good song to dance to.
Q: What is one thing you would say to a young person who doesn't believe in themselves?
A: I would tell them that the power of one’s choice can change your life. If you make the choice in your head that you want something in life and will work for it, then there is always a way to make that vision that you have for your life true. Sure, you probably won’t succeed right away, but if you are persistent and keep fighting for it, you can accomplish anything and no one can stop you, not even you. Success comes to those who except nothing but success in the long run but are willing to fail sometimes on the way there.
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