It hasn’t all been easy going for the 16-year-old, whose parents, Narvy and Mony, are Cambodian refugees.
Despite their struggles, they have offered endless support to their son and his lifelong dream to be an Olympian, something that James is grateful for every opportunity.
“I’m really thankful for the chance every day. Without my parents, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Min.
His coach Richard Laidlaw echoes those words.
“The Min’s had to work very hard for everything that they’ve got and are wonderful people who are very proud of their talented young son,” Richard said.
That upbringing has made Min one of the most humble and hard-working prodigies on the circuit despite his intense schedule.
It’s one he has to commit to, as Min competes this year in the Junior and Senior competitions this week.
“Richard’s a great coach, very good at planning, his technique is very good and I trust him,” Min said.
“Most of the time,” Laidlaw stirs.
“Well nobody is perfect,” quips Min.
It’s that jovial relationship, where coach and athlete share casual banter as well as solid feedback, which has allowed James to break out this year.
A crowd favorite all week, James is often seen having photos with fans, something coach Laidlaw says he has taken in his stride.
“He’s looking towards the older skaters, but James is actually a mentor to the young kids already and you don’t often realize that along the journey.”
That recognition has grown beyond Australia, with the Cambodian Figure Skating Association inviting him to do an ice show next month.
“He is a star in Cambodia and it’s a big deal that he’s going back to his parent’s country. It’s made them incredibly proud,” Laidlaw said.
For now, James is keen to shine locally.
“I’m not as nervous this week as I normally am. I just have to rely on the training I’ve done and stay confident to get every element right.”
His junior program continues this afternoon before he starts his first attempt in the Senior field at 6:20pm. You can catch it all on the livestream below.