Original by skiweltcup.tv
Things are starting to get serious. And that includes the young ski stars from South Tyrol. One of them is 24-year-old downhill and super-G specialist Hagen Patscheider from the Vinschgau Valley. In an interview with Lisa Gamper from skiweltcup.tv he chats about his first attempts at skiing, new equipment and his targets for the coming season.
Skiweltcup.TV: Hagen, can we go back in time for a moment? When was the first time you put on a pair of skis?
Hagen Patscheider: My father was very keen on sports and on skiing, so when I was only two and a half he put me on a couple of wooden planks in the meadow in front of our house :)
You're seen as one of the biggest talents in the Italian skiing team. How do you deal with a label like that?
HP: I don't necessarily feel that people see me as that. But I certainly haven't given up believing in myself and I do know what I can achieve.
What expectations do you have as the reigning Italian champion as you approach the coming season?
HP: It's pretty hard to put my expectations into words as I don't expect anything of myself in concrete terms. If I stay relaxed and deliver the performances I'm capable of then I know the results will follow from that. What I want is to be able to relax and create the right environment around me so that I can ski naturally.
Everyone's talking about the new equipment. Can you tell us about your new equipment and what the advantage is over your old gear?
HP: For me it's been a double change. After six years I've decided to leave Atomic, my previous supplier, and use skis from Head. At the same time, there are new FIS regulations governing skis that we all have to adapt to. I get the feeling that with the new skis you have to be very precise and there's no room for errors when you go into a curve otherwise they're incredibly difficult to turn. Once you've gone into the turn properly they're very stable.
Let's move on to the disciplines: which ones do you feel most comfortable in?
HP: My favourite discipline is probably the Super-G, just because it's an interesting combination of good technique on the curves and high speeds, and all without any trial runs.
Hagen, in 2013 the Alpine World Skiing Championships will be held in Schladming. What needs to come together to make sure you're in the "Azzurri" line-up?
HP: Christmas and Easter will have to fall on the same day :) Joking aside, though, the World Championships in Schladming aren't really an issue for me, or a target.
Some people are saying that as soon as you can produce the same performances in race situations as you do in training, you could realistically be looking at top ten rankings. What's the mental attitude required to achieve that?
HP: I think the right mixture of concentration, determination and staying relaxed can bring success. It's a very fine line and you have to get the balance right.
Sigi Klotz and Dominik Paris are two big characters in the team. How do you fit in within this colourful and lively squad?
HP: It's hard to define your own exact position within a group. I don't spend my free time watching films and listening to music like most people. I enjoy magazines like National Geographic, Geo, and so on, so when there's an argument about something they often ask me before going on the internet to search. There's no guarantee they will get the right answer though!
'No pain, no gain': how do you get yourself motivated every year to put in the training and believe in yourself?
HP: Anyone who has reached the finishing line in Bormio so exhausted they can barely open their bindings knows how important it is to maintain a good level of fitness in our sport. That's all the motivation you need. And anyway, what could be nicer than being able to do sports all day long?
And how much time do you get for yourself at the end of the season before the summer training camps start each year and the equipment trials come up again?
HP: We usually have around three weeks when we can just switch off. I personally put on 3-4 kg in weight. It's my fuel for the tough summer training ;)
Two great skiers have retired this year: Anja Pärson with her trademark victory walrus slide, and Didier Cuche with his famous ski flip trick in the finish zone. Have you got a celebration lined up for the day you win a race?
HP: No. Nothing at all. I don't think I could plan anything like that, I'd be much too elated to remember to get into a pre-prepared pose."
What elements do you think go into being a top skier? Lots of talent, ambition and skill? Or are there more important qualities than those?
HP: Those qualities are the basic requirements, definitely, but there are several other things too. You need to remain calm under pressure, and definitely a certain amount of luck as well.
What are your personal targets for the coming season?
HP: As I mentioned before, my personal targets aren't defined in terms of results. What I really want is to be able to get the best out of myself. So my goal is simply to do my best. Then I'll be able to see what I'm capable of.
Original by skiweltcup.tv