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Ambient and lifestyle pics of Giulia Tanno and Sarah Höfflin, Freeski, Adelboden, Switzerland

Giulia Tanno and Sarah Höfflin on their way to the X-Games podium

Jan 222019

Giulia Tanno

Giulia, what´s been going on in your life since Christmas?

A lot! I spent Christmas at home, enjoyed time with my family. Then I took some time to go skiing and for some training, but without the team. But as I was in Laax and everyone is going there, I met the others anyway. I went back home for new years, then I did a short training camp in Laax, took a short break at home again and now we´ve been here in Adelboden for 2 days.

Are you preparing for the X-Games?

That´s tricky. I´ve been injured and didn´t have a real season preparation. I pretty much started directly with the contests this season. I´m missing the preperation, it would´ve been good to build my confidence before the contests. Training specifically fort he X-Games is tricky. But this week I tried some bigger rails, that helps a lot.

You already mentioned your injuries: how are you handling injuries, especially if it´s something long term?

Last year before the Olympic Winter Games it was very tough for me, I wasn´t handling it very well. But it got better pretty quick and I saw that I was making progress with my physical therapy and reha. I saw that I won´t be out of it that much longer. The thing with the knee was nothing major, the only problem was, that I didn´t know how long it will take to heal. It could have been 2 weeks or 6 weeks. In the beginning it´s really hard to stay positiv, but as soon as it gets better step by step it´s easier. Staying positiv is really important.

You injured yourself at the X-Games last year. Is that still on your mind when going to Aspen now?

Of course there´s the thought like „uh I´m going back to Aspen now, it happened there last time“, but this particular injurie could have happened anywhere. It was an unhappy accident. It had nothing to do with the X-Games, or the fact that I may have pushed too hard. It was a stupid mistake. I try not to think about it to much. It will get easier as soon as I feel more confident on the rails again. But I really had to push myself to do that trick again for the first time after it happened. But as soon as I realised that I did not make a major mistake in Aspen, it got easier. But in general I´m more cautious now. I weigh the risk and if a trick is really worth it, if the price may be to never be able to ski again.

What´s your goal for the X-Games this year? What are you aiming for?

The top! (laughs) That´s always the goal. We will see. In Slopestyle I can get a good grasp of my chances as soon as I check out the track for the first time. A place on the podium would be great, as I´ve always been 4th. Big Air is a whole different thing. The skill level at the moment is insane! Any contestant could win this right now.

Which status do the X-Game hold for you?

A major one. Last year when I couldn´t go to the Olympic Winter Games, the thought that motivated me was „yeah, but you can still go to Aspen“. It´s such an amazing and really big event. And you get the chance to participate every year. Not like Olympia, which only gives you one chance in 4 years and really increases pressure on every athlete. The X-Games are such a cool event and the atmosphere is fantastic. Sometimes it doesn´t feel like a contest, but a little like training, because you can do a lot of runs and gain confidence.

It feels like the Swiss Team is on every podium at the moment. What´s the secret to your success?

I think it´s very helpful to us girls, that we ride a lot with our guys. They really push and motivate us, especially when it comes to try new, more difficult tricks. Of cours we girls also push each other – when one of us masters a new trick, the others want to follow. Of course it´s also an internal competition, but at the same time we have such a strong, beautiful friendship that we encourage each other most of all. And we all love and have fun skiing. I think that´s the key to success!

What are your goals for this season? New tricks? Contests? Or simply staying clear from injuries?

The most important thing is to stay clear from injuries. After that the X-Games and the World Championships are on top. The last World Championship was only medium good for me. I´m really looking forward to Park City, because the park is in perfect condition. Sierra Nevada was not too good to me last year. After that I´m really looking forward to Audi Nines! Regarding tricks I´m still training to get back to my old form. I got a few new things in mind. In general, I try not to think about the end of the season to much but take one step at a time.

You were the first woman to do a Switch 12 at the X-Games. Are you getting back to your old form trick wise?

Yeah, there won´t be to much new stuff at the moment. Maybe the Switch by 9 or 10, I never tried it on snow before. Let´s see what the training will bring.

Sarah Höfflin

Hi Sarah, good to see you over here in Adelboden and congrats for winning the world cup stop in Font Romeu. Please let us know, how did your last few weeks look like?

I skied a lot and went to DEW Tour for 10 days which was really rad. Afterwards I came home, skied a little bit in Chamonix and went to Val Thorens with my family for Christmas where we rented a chalet. This is kind of becoming a little bit of a tradition. It is super good fun. My boyfriend and myself have already been there several times so we know the resort and people over there pretty good.

Nice one! Now you are heading over for the X-Games. How do your preparations look like?

The preparations are looking pretty good. A lot of skiing like over here in Adelboden. I am working on my rail skills where I feel like a late starter not being 100% confident yet. In terms of jumps it is the other way around. I feel pretty good and would love to two switch dubs back to back in one run at the X-Games. This would be a big goal for me which I have never done before.

Last season you have achieved a lot with winning the Olympic Games. How much did this affect your motivation?

I am still super motivated. I enjoy competing and trying to jump on the podium at any kind of event. I am even more motivated right now to improve my skiing on a daily basis. Even though I have been achieving a big goal in my career with winning the Olympic Games, on a personal level I have not achieved my goals of freeskiing yet. I wanna keep developing and learn new tricks.  
A lot of people are asking me how my life has changed since winning the gold medal. For sure the financial aspect changed afterwards. I was able to buy a flat in Chamonix which is really cool so I did not have to jump six times a year from one spot to the other without having a real home as I have been a low budget skier before. This is pretty cool! Besides more sponsors are getting interested working together with me so I am able to get new and more things done with my skiing. Hence this year I have got a few projects which I can hopefully make happen. My boyfriend is a filmer so we either would like to film an edit in Japan for a few weeks or go to Norway producing an edit about ski touring and a bit of park action. But all in all nothing has changed that much. I am still the same person enjoying skiing a lot and my life in Chamonix.

You just mentioned Chamonix. This is a place for you to get some balance in between all the competitions. What does this ski resort make so special for you?

In Chamonix there is no park for me to train at. I tend to go skiing, ski touring, a bit of ice climbing. Most of my training is happening when I am out competing with the team or weeks like this in Adelboden. I also get a lot of time to train in summer time in Saas-Fee. This is a major time for getting better. So in between it is always super good to be in Chamonix cleaning my head and do something different like climbing for example. I think this is really important if you are a sports athlete to do bunch of other sports as well. This keeps your brain active and your other skills alive.

You are competing at X-Games in Aspen also this year. What do the X-Games mean to you?

X-Games is the coolest event on earth. The best skiers are getting together over there competing on the most progressive and coolest course I have ever been riding. X-Games is the place to be and we will have an amazing time over there in the Aspen. For sure my goal is to jump on the podium.