Courtesy of Skiweltcup.TV
Carmen Thalmann, from Berg im Drautal in Carinthia, was without question one of the shooting stars of the 2011/12 World Cup season. On 27th November 2011 Thalmann finished 23rd in the slalom at Aspen, and thus picked up her first World Cup points. Three weeks later she finished 9th in the slalom at Courchevel, which was her first World Cup top 10 placing. In an interview with Skiweltcup.TV the 22 year old spoke about her injury, the home World Championships in 2013, the toughest fans in skiing, and about her friend, Jessica Depauli.
Skiweltcup.TV: On 16th February in Kranjska Gora you suffered a rupture of the syndesmosis ligament in your left knee. Initially you were out of action for a period of four weeks, but were already back competing in Ofterschwang on 4th March. How are you now, and has the injury completely healed?
Carmen Thalmann: I can still feel the injury, the ankle does swell up slightly, but I can do anything and am quite happy with how things are now.
You managed ninth place in Courchevel, which gave you your first ever top 10 World Cup finish. In Flachau and Soldeu you were 12th on both occasions, results you were happy with. How would you assess your 2011/12 season?
CT: Overall I am very satisfied with last season. If someone had told me at the start of the season I would manage a top 10 finish, I would probably have laughed. Unfortunately though at the end of the season I couldn't do quite as well as I would have wanted to, but I am very pleased with a world ranking inside the top 25.
You achieved your main objective this year, a place at the World Cup finals in Schladming. Are you already thinking, and secretly dreaming, about the World Championships on home soil in 2013?
CT: It is definitely a dream for any athlete to compete at a World Championships on home soil. I will train hard and hope to earn the chance to compete at Schladming.
It's going very well in the slalom. You have also already produced some good results in the giant slalom at the Nor-Am Cup, Europa Cup, and on the FIS circuit. Will we soon be seeing you take up a second discipline in the Ski World Cup?
CT: Unfortunately last season didn’t go according to plan with giant slalom. I want to participate in both events at World Championships in the future, but still have a long way to go in the giant slalom.
Many pairs of skis have been tested for the new season. How comfortable do you feel with your new equipment?
CT: It's quite a change for me, as many things simply aren't possible with the new equipment. If it can reduce the number of injuries however then this has to be a good thing, but I'm not entirely convinced.
TV viewers were delighted by the refreshing interviews you gave after the races. How comfortable do you feel in front of the television cameras?
CT: Well, I just try to come across naturally. I am always very nervous before any interview, and worry about talking nonsense. At the same time I'm happy to be in front of the camera because it usually means that I have performed well :-)
One thing is certain. You have the 'toughest' fans in the whole of the World Cup. By exposing their upper bodies and displaying your name on their bare chests, you became a feature of the World Cup broadcasts. Are you in contact with the boys regularly, and, quite honestly, how many were laid up in bed with the flu following a race?
CT: They are all friends of mine, I spend my free time with them, and I look forward to it every time they are at the races. They are just crazy people and I like that [laughter]. They're all tough guys, so aren't bothered about sub-zero temperatures :-)
You room with Jessica Depauli when competing in the World Cup, and are also good friends away from the circuit. What do you appreciate the most about Jessica?
CT: I enjoy her crazy behaviour most of all, and I think we understand one another so well because we are so different.
Now for a very private question. During an interview with smpr.at (Stefan Steinacher) you said you were looking for a 'handsome Swedish guy'. Have you found him yet?
CT: No, unfortunately not… Perhaps I should have done that interview in English!
How were your holidays this summer?
CT: I spent most of the holiday period at home, doing plenty of stuff with my friends and my family – I enjoy that more than a beach holiday.
Imagine you can write a headline for the 2012/13 season. What would it be?
CT: Carinthian girl wins her first World cup race :-)
Original by Skiweltcup.TV