Since 2007 Ivica Kostelic has put his faith in skis and boots from Fischer. That was when the man from Croatia travelled to Ried with his father on the spur of the moment–without an appointment, but confident that he’d get the best material there for his great aim: victory in the overall World Cup. In 2011 the time had come: after a magnificent series of wins, Kostelic´ ’s dream came true, and the large crystal globe was his.

How did you come to switch to Fischer at that point? Why did you decide in favour of Fischer?

That’s an interesting story. I was having a disappointing season with my old ski company; and so my father and I decided on the spur of the moment, halfway through the season – in January 2007 – to travel straight to Fischer in Ried. In the 1960s, when my father was still in competitive skiing, he always used Fischer skis and was full of praise for them. So we arrived in Ried one morning. Recognising me, the porter was very surprised to see that we hadn’t got an appointment. We told him we’d like to talk to someone from the Alpine racing department. By a stroke of luck someone was available, and the porter let us in. That was our first contact with Fischer, and by the end of the season we had signed a contract. I was never in any doubt that Fischer was the right choice.

Looking back over your career to date, what would you say was more important for you: gold in the 2003 World Championship slalom, or the 2011 overall World Cup?

The overall World Cup is worth much more than a World Championship. There are several reasons for that, but the most important one is that victory in the overall World Cup is the most valuable trophy that an Alpine skier can win in his career. The World Championships have a certain significance in skiing, but if you look at it in terms of athletic performance then even individual World Cup wins are worth more than a World Championship title, which just sounds good. That’s why I place many of my successes ahead of the World Championship title.

How did you get into Alpine racing?

It started off like a kind of game. My father put me on skis when I was three, and I was delighted. At the age of seven I then started racing in a skiing club.

„In my very first race I came only 73rd, but I was quite happy with that.“

How did your successful career begin?

In my very first race I came only 73rd, but I was quite happy with that. It was in 1987, on a slope near Slovenj Gradec in Slovenia.

Your father plays a key role in your career. How much does he contribute to your successes?

My father has been my full-time trainer since 1989. We’ve been through quite a bit together. His contribution is huge. I’d never have been so successful without my father’s hard work, expertise and motivation. He’s the person I’ve spent the most time with throughout my life, and so he’s influenced me in all sorts of areas.

You and your sister Janica must be the most successful pair ever in Alpine racing. What sort of relationship do you have with your sister?

For us skiing has always been a family project. My father, Janica and I are a team, and have been for a very long time. Our relationship is very close, because for a long time there was no one else we could turn to, and we gave each other support through thick and thin. I can’t imagine my skiing life without Janica. She has inspired me as an athlete. These days she accompanies me through the entire season, every year. Our relationship is as close as ever, and I’m very pleased that she’s involved – because that’s the way it’s always been.

How many operations have you already had? Haven’t you ever contemplated stopping racing after an injury?

I’ve had 15 operations. Stopping is always possible, but not for me! I don’t believe in stopping as long as the circumstances still leave you a slight chance.

You are now 34 years old. What further career plans do you have?

If my health permits, I’d like to carry on for one or two more seasons.

What plans do you have for after your career in competitive skiing? I haven’t made any plans. I have all sorts of interests, and I’d like to catch up on various activities that I had only limited time for during my career in competitive skiing.