Andrea Fischbacher: "Glad to still be in one piece"

02 April 2010 20:58

By Caroline Lang for Laola1.at, originally published here.

Teacher, veterinarian, lawyer? Answering the question of the dream job can be difficult for a little girl.

Not so for Andrea Fischbacher. She always knew she wanted to be a ski racer!

Her goals, too, were clearly defined at an early age: Winning World Cup races and crystal globes, and becoming a world and Olympic champion. On 20th February 2010 she could tick the goal of an Olympic champion off her list.

The 24-year-old Salzburg native celebrated her greatest success to date by winning the gold in the super-G at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010. Yet, overall it was a season with ups and downs, after which she says to be glad to ‘still be in one piece.'

In an interview with Laola1, Fischbacher spoke about weak knees, less beautiful moments and a lot of work.

Your crash at the World Cup Finals in Garmisch looked very wild. How are you feeling now?

Andrea Fischbacher: I'm fine. A few things still hurt, but by and large, I can be glad to still be in one piece. During a crash you do not have any idea what's going on; it goes much too fast. It was a stupid mistake and I am glad about how it turned out. I started again immediately afterwards at the Austrian national championships. For the mind there is nothing better than to race again soon.

At the Games, you were more solid on your skis than anyone else at the super-G. What has changed for you since winning the gold medal?

Fischbacher: I cannot really say that much has changed. Surely I am now better known than I was before. But that's just a nice proof that you have achieved something. For me personally nothing's different than before.

Does that mean that you have yet to come to grasps with your Olympic victory?

Fischbacher: Winning Olympic gold is great, but it is difficult to comprehend fully. I know that it is real, but I have probably yet not understood what it truly means. After the Games, racing continued with the World Cup. That's now over, but so far there was no time to contemplate everything but that time will come too.

Just over a month has passed since your victory. If you try to re-live those moments, what is going on inside you?

Fischbacher: It is an unbelievable feeling. I was able to fulfill a childhood dream and that at a relatively young age. The most emotional moment was surely at the Medal Plaza. There were so many people and then your name is called. You get weak in your knees, you simply cannot help it.

The Olympic victory certainly hovers above everything. But there were some not-so-beautiful moments in Canada, too.

Fischbacher: My fourth place in the downhill really bugged me. I am an athlete and have certain ambitions - that's a good thing. At a title event only the medals count. But then I focused on the super-G. What was bitter was the non-nomination for the giant slalom. But Lizz (Görgl, Editor's note) was twice faster in the qualification so you do not need to waste much time with that.

You scored your victory in the most important competition of the season. In the World Cup, your best result was a 2nd place in St. Moritz. How do you evaluate your season?

Fischbacher: It was a World Cup winter full of ups and downs. At the beginning that was due to an injury. I am actually quite happy with the super-G season. Even the giant slalom went well from January onwards. What did not work at all was the downhill. So I'm not where I want to be. I know I must work hard on myself.

How will this work?

Fischbacher: I have not been able to let the skis go in the downhill, not as well as I know I can. That is why I lost time. If I am in shape, I can be up there as well; I was not always that slow on the flats this past season either. But I know that I will never be the perfect glider. To some degree you can learn it, the rest you just have to have naturally. We are also working on the equipment, because in the speed events, we have to get back to the top. There is still a lot of testing being done.

So proper relaxing is not yet on the schedule?

Fischbacher: I will find the time to enjoy at some point. Some conditioning is always on the plan and the beginning of the summer training is not too far away. In early May it'll get started in earnest again. For I still have other goals. First and foremost there are the World Cup event globes and winning other medals would be nice, as well.