Enormous talent. Gorgeous appeal. Courage, that doesn’t accept borders. Lara Gut, brand ambassador for KJUS, is the big hope for Swiss ski sports.
The 20 year old Swiss girl has started her bright career like a rocket: at the young age of 15 she was awarded Swiss Master in the Super-G, and had already finished her first world cup race. One year later she celebrated her first victory at the world cup in St. Moritz.
Then the setback in September 2009: a serious fall during race training forced Lara to take a break that lasted one year.
In the past season she showed us her spirit once again, returning stronger than before: Lara managed to have a successful comeback and is now starting confidently into world cup’s next season.
We asked Lara, who is wearing the KJUS Spirit Collection in her leisure time, about her goals and her preparation for the upcoming season:
Hi Lara. How are you? Do you feel ready for the upcoming ski season?
Hi, I’m fine thanks. I was able to train very well this summer and now I’m pretty excited to go back on the race courses.
After you dislocated your right hip in a training injury in Saas-Fee in 2009, you had a successful comeback with one victory and three podiums in the last season. How would you evaluate your past “comeback” season? What was your personal highlight?
It was amazing, I never expected to be back so quick; the first two months were a little bit hard for me, I was skiing great but not fast. In the middle of December I found my way back to the podium and after Val D’Isère everything was the same as before, I knew again how to be fast, how to feel fast,... The best thing for me was my victory; to be on the podium is amazing, but the day when you win, it’s just incredible and you feel so light ;)
The preparation for the next season is already in full swing. How are you preparing yourself this year?
I decided to go to Argentina to see other slopes and train a little bit different compared to the last years. I’ve been training physically in spring, in July I went back on the snow, skiing in Italy and Switzerland.
Besides that preparation: How was your summer? What did you do? You had exams at school, but also some days of summer vacation, right…?!
I had one week off in June and I went to Greece with my boyfriend. I love training, so it’s not hard for me to go skiing in summer, even if we have 30 deegrees at home. But I have to say; this year June and July weren’t like summer, it was always raining and cold, so I felt great on the glaciers and didn’t miss the summer so much.
What are your goals for the next season 2011 / 2012? Are you aiming to reach a certain world cup position?
I don’t generally have those goals. If I expect that I will reach the 5th place overall and at least I reached the 6th place, does that mean that I didn’t achieve my goals? I try to do my best every day at every race; one day it means to win, the other maybe to be only in the top 15.
There are very beautiful pictures of you wearing the KJUS Spirit Collection on your website. How do you feel about fashion and how did the collaboration with KJUS develop?
I love working with KJUS, they have a great spirit and always try to do it better. I’m not a „fashion victim“, but I like to wear good clothes and feel great with them.
What do you like best regarding the new Spirit-Collection and what is your favourite garment?
Its warmth, its style, its brilliant colors, I just love it! I like to wear everything, I can’t choose which one I like most!
If you are in a training camp or on a racing weekend – who or what do you take along with you?
When I have to pack my bags, I always think that it would have been easier if I decided to be a swimmer or a soccer player; you don’t need so many things with you. Who comes with me? My dad, he’s my coach too, and the rest of my staff; Babi, he takes care of my skis (and me) and Luca, the assistant-coach.
You are practicing by yourself with your private Team Gut. How do you feel about being on the road with the Swiss woman team whilst the race season is on? Does it require considerable adjustments or is it a change welcomed.
It’s not always easy. When you are training alone, you have to decide (with your staff) where to go, when to start skiing, and so forth. If you are with the team, there are so many things that change; every evening we meet all together to decide what we will do the next day; we are moving together to the slopes,...
When you are travelling alone, you are free and can do whatever you think is the best for you, with the team you have to take care of the entire team and it’s not always easy to do the best for the team and for each one of the athletes!
How important is your family to you?
It’s the base of all, I need my family to support me. It would be impossible to manage my team by myself, my fans (letters,..), the sponsors,... I think that actually, in order to be successful in sports, one of the most important things is, that your family stands behind you and supports you.
In retrospective of your still comparatively short career: Which one was your biggest success and your best experience of ski racing?
I think my two silver medals at the world championship when I was only 17 have been something really amazing. Personally, I have one other moment: this January when I won the Super-G in Altenmarkt. Everybody saw that I was back after my big injury. I stood up, I fought and I was there again with the best skiers of the world.
What would you say: What’s your personal secret of success?
I stand up every day and try to give my best with a big smile.. that’s it!
Last, but not least: How would you describe Lara Gut in just three words?
They call me „sunshine“ ;-)