Slovenia’s Tina Maze had a remarkable year of success on the slopes in 2013.
She has now started 2014 off with success at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games where she won two gold medals. In doing so, she became the first Solvenian to win gold at a Winter Olympics.
Tina, Nominated for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, speaks to us here about what it means to be a leading figure of her sport in her home country, what makes skiing so much fun for her and much more.
What was your most memorable moment of 2013?
It’s hard to say. There were so many great results but if I should keep two moments it will be Cortina d’Ampezzo, when I finally won a Super-G and join the 6 ladies to have won all disciplines.
And the moment in Lenzerheide, when we received the big Crystal Globe. It was very emotional, my Team were all crying !
Now you have started 2014 with double Olympic success, how would you sum up your Sochi experience?
I love the Olympics. To stay all together in the Olympic village brings you back to the roots of the sport. The slopes are great and we were nicely welcomed. Of course alpine skiing is not the most popular discipline in Russia, but I hope it will come with the years.
What goals remain for you this year?
My big goal was already the Olympics! Reaching the Gold ! The Overall World Cup is also one of my goals but it will be tough now!
How do you relax when not on the slopes?
I prefer painting, listening to music, staying with my friends and family and walking with my dog!
Do you have any superstitions or pre-competition rituals?
I would more say rituals than superstitions, but I will keep that for myself.
What do you love most about skiing?
The feeling of freedom, gliding on the immaculate slopes, the speed and the control. Being in nature in wonderful surroundings!
Do you hope to lead the way for more Slovenian skiers to success in the coming years?
Hopefully, but this sport needs a lot of support and my country has big trouble in developing good programmes for kids at the moment.
Who were your heroes and sources of inspiration growing up?
The Champions of my village, whom 5 were Olympians: Mitja Kunc, Mateja Svet
This is a great age for skiing with you, Vonn and Hoefl-Riesch all global stars of the sport, but what young skiers do you see challenging for titles in the coming years?
For the overall title, Anna Fenninger, Mikaela Shriffin and Lara Gut will be very tough to beat if they work hard.
What are you interested in doing in the future?
Honestly, I don’t know exaclty yet. I’m still focused on my skiing and I will decide for my future carrier maybe after the next season.