Lara Gut "more motivated than ever"
Lara Gut, the 21-year-old Swiss talent, finished 14th in the overall season standings 2011-12, with seven top-ten finishes but no podiums and many DNFs, especially in the tech events. A season of many ups and downs. FIS had a chance to catch up with Lara to ask about her season preps, summer and thoughts before the World Champs season.
Lara, you are currently busy getting ready for the upcoming Worlds season — how is your training going? Are you mostly training on your own or in groups with others?
Yes, we've had a warm summer but the snow conditions here in Europe are amazing. My training is going well, thanks. I can train without pain and I didn't get injured so that means that everything is pretty easy. I skied until the end of May, testing a lot and trying to find out what we could do to have fast skis next year. I then went back on snow at the end of July here in Zermatt and we were so lucky with the weather and the snow conditions!
I've been training a lot with my "little" brother; he's 17 but at this age boys are already a lot stronger than their big sister... I also skied with the Norwegian girls. Our former coach Stef (Abplanalp) is now there, and in the next weeks I'll join my teammates for some speed training.
Just last week you were in Zermatt — are you going to the Southern hemisphere at all to train this year?
I have gotten used to the fact that Zermatt is my home for the summer. I'll stay here until the end of September. ... That means that I'll stay here for this year. I think that a mix between both things is the best, last year we were training in Ushuaia, this year we are here, who knows where we go next year?!
It seems that you have also found some time to relax and enjoy the summer, with vacations somewhere near the sea and in warm weather, correct?
Yes sure, I love skiing, the snow and everything around it but if you do that 52 weeks each year you get crazy. Definitely! Right after the season I got a week at the beach, I really needed it. In the middle of July I went to Sicily with my brother and my boyfriend, we came back on a Saturday and on the Monday we were already skiing in Zermatt... from 40° to 0°, from 0 m to 3800 m. I know sometimes we are crazy.
You attended the Moon&Stars Summer Music Festival, too, and recently the Locarno Cinema festival. Are you a big fan of music and film?
It is just that it means a lot to me to do things with my family and with the life that I have it's not always easy to get the time to be with the people you love. And, a life without movies and music would be so boring!
Talking about a film, you are now also a movie star with your debut film Tutti Giu (www.tuttigiu-film.ch) opening in early September in the Swiss cinemas. What kind of an experience was it to shoot a movie?
Well... I am an "actress" not a movie star. It was pretty interesting, cinema is another world and it was, of course, a unique experience for me. I saw myself on the big screen few weeks ago and it was a strange feeling because I'm used to seeing myself during interviews or races but to see myself acting as another person; it's strange!
Can you picture yourself getting into the arts in the future, after your sports career?
Oh please, I don't want to start thinking about it. I already have to plan my next 10 years on the skis and that takes enough energy by itself. Besides training, you were also busy studying in the spring. Are you now finished with your 'Matura' and what's next there?
I like to study, I think it is important for us to have something besides skiing. At the age of 30 your life as racer is already over and I want to have options to choose my job for the rest of my life. I'm currently studying for the second half of my Matura; 2014 will be a big year.
Last season did not go as well as you probably were hoping. Have you been able to put that behind you and what will make you happy come next spring as you look back at winter 2013?
Of course, after my difficult season, I was more motivated than ever to get back on the snow and train harder than ever. I think it's just the feeling that you don't want to have that feeling any more, so you push harder, go further and try to be better than ever!
I'll be happy if I can look back at my season and say, "Well, I skied as fast as I really can do."