Leaving aside the personal passion for skiing, a professional skier needs to have a few certain things: Enormous talent, a strong mental constitution, definitely the right attitude and most importantly, perfect support from your surroundings.
Our Brand Ambassador Lara Gut has it all. The 20-year-old ski phenomenon set up her own “Team Gut” which supports and guides her during long world cup seasons.
“Everything is focused on one single athlete, Lara. We can fully shift all attention on her!”
(Gabriella Gut about the advantages of a personal team)
We are proud to equip the Team Gut with our KJUS Ski and Spirit Collection. Gaining constant feedback helps us to improve our new collections and integrate their practical experiences.
We had the possibility to meet Lara and her whole team at the World Cup Race in St. Moritz. The team supports her unconditionally and is, especially in testing times, the perfect backing.
Besides father and coach Pauli Gut, her team consists of her more than passionate mother Gabriella, assistant coach Luca Agazzi, Rossignol service technician Barnaba Greppi, physiotherapist Norma Tipaldi and communication manager Roberto Mazza.
Team Gut – the team behind Lara
The most important person to Lara is, of course, her father and coach Pauli Gut, who never leaves Lara’s side and provides valuable feedback and input. Together with assistant coach Lucca Agazzi they are constantly analyzing Lara’s skiing technique and fitness level to work on her overall performance.
“I’ll be a coach if Lara needs a coach! I’ll be a father when a father is needed. I can distinguish between these roles. And Lara knows that.” (Pauli Gut)
Her personal service technician for six years, Barnaba Greppi, followed Lara to Rossignol, when she decided to leave Atomic at the end of last season. A relationship built on trust and shared experience gives Lara the confidence that they will find the perfect set up for every single race.
To keep the pressure off of Lara, Roberto Mazza is coordinating all media communications. Especially at Lara’s home race this wasn’t the easiest task.
The good soul of the team, and always backing Lara up, is mother Gabriella. Besides handling all administrative duties, she’s always there and supports her daughter like only a mother can.
The close combination of professionals, friends and family is what sets “Team Gut” apart from national skiing federations. Particularly at a very young age it’s most important to get unconditional support, and while often being criticized in the media, her own team gives Lara the strength to compete on this high level in the world cup.
“We were confronted with a lot of negative headlines, especially when we moved away from Tessin. We were even threatened. I remember being home alone – while all the others were at the world cup – constantly thinking about these threats. It’s not easy to handle such situations. But we’ve grown from there and aren’t taking things so serious anymore. We have more experience in dealing with such things now.” (Pauli Gut about being criticized by the media)
World Cup in St. Moritz
The World Cup weekend in St. Moritz, at the same time Lara’s home race, turned out to be a busy one – for Lara and her whole team. With three races from Friday to Sunday, the weekend’s schedule was packed with skiing, press appointments and interviews. Good thing Lara’s personal team supports her around the clock.
From one Pro to another – Karin Roten interviewing Lara
We’ve had the chance to accompany “Team Gut“ during the Women’s Ski World Cup in St. Moritz and experienced the great teamwork and strong company Lara can rely on (see pictures below). And we at KJUS are proud to support not only her with our Spirit Collection, but the whole “Team Gut”.
Former swiss world cup skier and KJUS Teamrider Karin Roten took the chance to talk to Lara and her “Team Gut” during the St. Moritz race weekend.
Karin: Lara, the race in St. Moritz is your home race where you probably know every little stone. Can you describe what it means to you to start in front of your home crowd?
Lara: To start at your home race is a unique feeling. Your fans are cheering on you, supporting you and the whole crowd is going crazy. It’s a special atmosphere. It really makes me feel at home. And three races instead of just two… it’s just perfect.
I like to start in St. Moritz. I know every slope, every hill etc. inside out. I just know where to win or loose time, the ideal line. The race is identically every year.
Karin: Do you have a certain ritual before the start? I used to wear the same pair of socks at races!
Lara: Not really. Just imagine if I had a certain ritual and something doesn’t go as planned, should I blame it on the ritual or on my performance. ;-)
I just try to keep the head free. If I wouldn’t be able to perform my ritual I might grow confused.
Karin: Where do you see the advantage of having your personal team around you?
Lara: I’m independent. I can practice wherever and whenever I need to!
Every athlete has different needs that need to be addressed, different strengths and weaknesses. I prefer to work with my own team.
Karin: Is there a downside? Obligations? Pressure? Tensions?
Lara: I’m used to deal with pressure. The main pressure is on my father and the rest of my team. The have to organize and manage everything.
To have my own team (almost) just has advantages.
Karin: Team Gut seems like family. Who is the most important person to you?
Lara: Definitely my father and coach. He’s the best coach one can wish for! You don’t need to have a university degree to be an outstanding coach. You need to know how to handle an athlete, sense an athletes needs. Pauli, my dad, simply knows me better than anyone else in the world. He’s just awesome. Who could be a better coach than someone’s father?
Karin: So Pauli is your father and coach: Can the both of you separate between different roles?
Lara: There are different situations: The ones where I need my coach and others where I need my father. He distinguishes perfectly. A certain kind of tension is normal. The both of us clearly differentiate in character, but the communication is perfect. We can talk about just anything.
Karin: Now that we both ride Rossignol, you have changed from Atomic this season, are you satisfied with the switch? Is it a big adjustment?
Lara: Of course it’s an ongoing process, but I’m really satisfied with Rossignol. The new skis are much easier to drive and I have the chance to easily compensate mistakes. When I’m hitting it right, I’m fast.