VINCENT KRIECHMAYR – FROM THE PÖSTLINGBERG TO THE SKI WORLD CUP
He has been using Fischer skis since the age of two, loves ice hockey besides skiing and his favourite travel destination is the Pöstlingberg in Linz, Upper Austria. We are talking about our up-and-coming Upper Austrian athlete Vincent Kriechmayr.
The 22-year-old, who took part in his first World Cup race in Alta Badia in 2010, has secured himself a fixed place for the 13l14 season in the Super G World Cup. He achieved his goal through hard training, an iron discipline and his outstanding performances in last season's Europa Cup. He managed to step up to the World Cup with second place in the Europa Cup Super G discipline ranking and third place in the Europa Cup overall standings.
You were in Ushuaia (ARG) in summer to prepare yourself for the upcoming season. Besides on-the-snow training, you also worked hard on your fitness and strength. What can you tell us about your day-to-day training in summer?
Not that much really. The training went very well and we had sensational, wintry conditions in Argentina. My focus was on Giant Slalom training. We also trained Slalom and Super G but we didn't overdo it because Giant Slalom is the most important discipline for me. I can benefit a great deal from being part of the World Cup team because thanks to the smaller squad and more coaches, everything has become even more professional than it already was in the Europa Cup.
You struggled with back problems and inflammation for a couple of seasons.How are you right now and how have you coped with these problems?
Unfortunately I struggled with back pains at times in Ushuaia, too, but with the help of daily fitness exercises and a fantastic physiotherapist we managed to get it under control again quite quickly. If the pain is acute then we can treat it quickly so it hardly bothers me.
Hermann Maier is a big role model for you because of his will to never give up! What characteristics make you stand out and what would you like young racers to say about you later on?
My biggest strengths are actually my humour and calmness. These two characteristics help me out a lot, especially when things aren't going my way.
… and, should I ever be successful at some point, I'd like young skiers to say "even when things didn't go his way, he could still find something to laugh about."
You grew up in the "safe haven" of a large farm in Gramastetten (Linz).How important is it for you to go home from time to time and what is it about home that you do not find anywhere else?
Very important! I think every athlete who travels a lot looks forward to going home. The reason why it's so important to me is because home is the place where I can really switch off completely and practically not think about skiing any more.
… and home is the place where there is always farm work to be done – as they tell me J
While you are racing down the slopes your twin brother Rafael works on the family farm.People often say that twins have a special bond – is that so, and how is the relationship with your brother?
Yes, I think the relationship with my brother is a very strong one and I'm pretty sure it's even stronger than with any other members of the family. He is probably the one who gives me the strongest support. He's the one who makes me appreciate where I come from. My brothers and sisters had to make a lot of sacrifices for me to be able to pursue my passion and I will always be grateful to them for that – and that is why the sport cannot change me and never will change me.
Vincent, you've been using Fischer skis since you were two years old, what do you associate with this company which is so rich in tradition and are you proud to be a part of the Fischer family?
As an Upper Austrian I am very proud to be able to ski with Upper Austrian skis. Fischer gave me a great deal of support when I was young and made many things much easier for me as a result. Fischer was my first equipment sponsor and I am happy to be part of the Fischer family, both now and in the future.
What do you wish yourself for the future and which goals would you like to achieve in this season?
Staying healthy tops the list, followed hopefully by success. My big goal for this season is to make it into the world's top 30 in one discipline.