Since the end of October the ski season has already begun for the winter sports elite – with the World Cup race in Sölden. Our “trexpert” Felix Neureuther also took part in this sporty event. However, the 29-year old from Garmisch-Patenkirchen was all else but sure if he would be able to take part at all. After an operation on the ankle in June he was only supposed to rest for 2-3 weeks, which however turned out to be a lengthy healing process. But Felix was lucky: in September he finally could get back into training!
How he dealt with the long pause, what expectations he has for the coming season, and why he is currently doing an advert with his mother on German TV – all this he has told SnowTrex in the following interview.
The preparations for this coming season were not really what you had expected them to be after your ankle operation. How did you remain positive that you would be fit enough, with the healing process taking so long?
I am a racer, and I have been doing this quite a few years now. I know from my older colleagues that excessive training is not so important when you get older. It is a lot worse for a new-comer to suffer a severe accident, when he still has to improve the technics. I had a few phases when I was quite down, because the wound was healing as it should. Also I heard a few medical diagnostics who were talking about me not returning at all. Thankfully I finally found a doctor, Dr. Riccardo Giunta, who was able to close the wound.
Although you only were able to get back to training in September you achieved a magnificent 7th place in the first run of the season in Sölden. Although the second set went not so well, are you still positive the season will be a successful one for you?
The first run was ok. In the second run I actually had a much better feeling. My service team had exchanged the plate, but unfortunately then my luck turned. However I do take a lot of positive energy with be from this race.
What are your personal goals for this season?
I have learnt not to think too much about the medals and the championships. Then you are likely to put yourself under too much pressure. I want to achieve my personal best race per race. Afterwards I can look at the whole picture. Anything else would only mean a burden.
This season not only holds the World Cup races for your, but also the Olympic Games in February. How do you deal with so much pressure for two major events?
I only think from race to race. In one ski season, and with such a complex type of sport, so much can happen. It is hard to plan ahead and therefore I only tend to go by the momentum of the situation. You never know if it will turn out good or bad. The only thing I know is, that once I am in Sotschi, everything will run differently anyway.
What do you expect from Sotschi, in Russia, being the host for the Olympic Games?
I expect perfect contest areas. Everything else needs to take a back seat.
Just shortly a TV ad was aired on German TV showing you together with your mother. Is it hard to make your parents proud, when they also were such successful athletes back in their time?
I chose this advertising campaign as matter of heart. I think it is very unique. It is not about making your parents proud of you – especially not in my case. I rather want to say Thank You to them for all that they did to help my sister and myself on our way.
Finally we would like to ask you if you have some good advice for our SnowTrex customers: as sports pro you know the most famous ski runs all over the world. Which one do you recommend every enthusiastic skier to try?
“Streif”, “Lauberhorn” and of course the “Kandahar” here in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.