Q&A: Olympic DH champ Antoine Deneriaz outlines his plan of attackLast year, French downhill ace Antoine Deneriaz blew his knee out on the Goulet jump at Chamonix. This year, Ski Racing caught up at Chamonix with Deneriaz, who won the Torino downhill in stunning fashion Sunday.
Ski Racing: What happened to you on the Goulet?
Antoine Deneriaz: I finished the turn before a little bit too late. I tried to let my skis go far and spill. I finished too late and didn’t have time to prepare for the jump, and I went off the jump not in a good way. So when I touched the snow my knee tore. My anterior cross [cruciate] ligament. When I touched the snow I already felt that it was finished and that I was ready for an operation and rehabilitation and everything.
SR: Was it hard coming back and doing jumps after hurting yourself on a jump?
AD: The first downhill with a big jump was Beaver Creek. The first time in Beaver Creek I had not so much confidence, and for sure I could not attack the jump like I did before the injury. I took the time to take a good position and everything, and I saw it was OK. So now it’s coming better and better.
SR: You are considered one of the tour’s better jumpers.
AD: I was great. I am great for jumps. But unfortunately I made a mistake with one jump and I was injured. I think it was my day. When you’re skiing, rare are there skiers who have a career with no injuries. It was my time and it was like that. I was very confident in Chamonix last year. So I attacked 100 percent. Maybe on that day I pushed the limit a little bit and I crashed. That is the game.