In episode 006 of the World Pro Ski Tour Official Podcast, host Craig Marshall interviews the the only Pro Tour racer to ever make $1 million in his career, Bernhard Knauss.
Bernhard discusses how he made it over to the U.S. initially to compete on the U.S. Pro Ski Tour after competing for the Austrian national ski team. Next he chats about why he was so successful in the dual format and on the pro tour and how he dealt with gaining celebrity in a foreign country. He goes on to reminisce on why the pro tour was the greatest time of his life, why he will always remember the Colorado events because he was very successful and why Phil Mahre was always his toughest competitor.
He also wanted to recount some of his favorite stories from off the hill, but we all decided that none of them were appropriate for the family listeners of the podcast. In regards to the WPST, he believes that if the tour can grow and acquire additional international racers then it could be very successful in the future. He also described his life after retirement from the pro tour, with a few years on the amateur circuit (including a 1998 Olympic appearance) which lead to a long career in the ski industry (he now leads the race business for Nordica and Blizzard). Because of that role, Craig asked what he thought about the development of a longer and larger radius “Dual” or “Pro” ski.
He also chats about why he thinks the double cross block isn’t a great development for the sport, even though he thinks he may have started the trend. In the fashion segment of the interview, Bernie discussed how he ended up wearing such a hideous “doo-rag” looking hat on the pro tour and how amazed he is that they didn’t wear helmets. Furthermore, he explains how dangerous pro racing was with big jumps, ruts, and straight skis in close proximity to the other racer. In closing, he makes a short comment on the “groupie slalom,” but you’ll have to listen all the way through to find out what he says!
Enjoy the interview!