Q&A Conny Hütter
Austria was the reference nation in Alpine Skiing this season, but new faces had their breakthrough within the team, as for exemple speed skier Cornelia Hütter. The successful 23 year-old already grabbed 9 World Cup podiums and 1 win, and she doesn't intend to stop there. Here are her toughts on her season, her team and her future goals.
Congratulations, you have been very impressive this season! You proved that you belong to the very best speed ladies on the World Cup Tour, how does it feel to confirm your potential at the highest level?
It’s a great feeling, when you can look back on a successful season and you realise that all those years of hard work paid off. But if you stand still, you regress, and I don’t want to rest on my achievements. I will work even harder and increase the intensity of my trainings. You can always step-up and rise.
Last year, you proved that you can be fast and earned six Top5 results, including a 4th place at the World Championships in Vail. This season it’s not less than 8 podium placements! That’s an amazing progression, what changed this season?
Already last season I was close to the Top3 a few times, but mistakes in my runs didn’t allow me to close the gap to the podium. This year, I made a big step forward in all the areas and my runs became cleaner. My good season start in Lake Louise (3 races, 3 podiums) also boosted my confidence and gave me wings for the rest of the Winter.
Throughout the season, you got closer and closer, and in the Super-G in Lenzerheide, right after your setback in Soldeu, everything worked out perfectly. Explain us how this day went down for you.
In the morning, I woke up with a great feeling and I felt that today would be my day, that I would show everything I can and that I could win! During inspection, this feeling became even stronger. When Tamara Tippler laid down the fastest time, I thought to myself: I can do that as well. And as I crossed the finish line with bib 22, I saw the green light, and I knew that this time, it could work out. And it did. I was totally overwhelmed and tears ran down my cheeks, especially when they played the national anthem. It’s an incredible moment. Then the rush really begins: interviews, doping control, countless texts and phone calls, … the day went by fast. It’s only in the evening that I realised what just happened.
You are not the only one in your team that could celebrate maiden wins. Mirjam Puchner (92) won in St. Moritz, Tamara Tippler (91) earned three podiums and Ramona Siebenhofer (91) was on the podium with you in Lake Louise. It looks like the Austrian speed ladies reached maturity. How is the atmosphere within the team?
The atmosphere is awesome, we are a tight-knit team, and we push each other forwards. If you are fast in the trainings, you automatically know that you can be fast in the race. It’s a great generation and we understand each other very well. It’s priceless that we can celebrate successes with the team, share these moments together and be happy for each other.
With 76 World Cup wins, Lindsey Vonn is the best female skier ever. You are 8 years younger, but you are skiing at the same time, in the same disciplines. Is it more of an advantage to learn from her or is it frustrating because she took a podium spot in every speed race she finished this season?
You can not only learn from Lindsey, but also from other athletes, like Lara Gut or Tina Weirather. Of course also from Anna Veith, who can hopefully come back and push hard again next season. It’s not frustrating, it’s even the opposite. It gives me additional motivation, to try to be faster than the others. This is the goal, this is what we work for. And if you believe in yourself and try everything, then one day you’ll be faster.
On your personal website, you write that your goal is “to win everything that there is to win”. Now that you have a World Cup win, I guess we speak about a globe, a World Championship and an Olympic title. What’s your game plan to reach that, going into two important seasons?
It’s a secret, and I won’t reveal it :) But sure, I want to win it all. And I’ll work and train hard to get there. In the end, we’ll see how far I could go.
This summer, the Austrian Ski Team had the opportunity to meet the Pope in the Vatican. Tell us about this day. What did this visit mean to you?
It was pretty impressive and I’m thankful I got this opportunity to meet the Pope. It’s hard to believe, but he is pretty normal and easy-going. It was not a problem at all to take a selfie with him and he really took time for us. What he said as we were leaving impressed me: “I pray for you, but please also pray for me.” I realised that his job is everything else but easy…