Dominique Gisin: Comeback for the love of skiing
Dominique Gisin, the blogging ski racer from Engelberg (SUI), had to prematurely end the season due to a knee injury and now gave an update in an interview with Skiweltcup.TV.
How are you doing after the knee injury that you sustained in the downhill training in Cortina d’Ampezzo followed by a very intensive rehab phase?
Dominique Gisin: I am doing really well. I am back to ski training. The rehab went great – I never had any problems and feel prepared for the summer training now.
It was your ninth knee operation – the second in the left knee – where do you take the strength to come back time and again, and mostly stronger than before? How important is mental training in all this?
Dominique Gisin: I draw the strength from my love for skiing. It is my life and it is easy to fight to come back in that case. I am lucky to benefit from top medical supervision at the Rennbahnklinik in Muttenz. That helps and makes the entire endurance training a bit easier and more effective. Of course I also have a mental coach who works with me but injuries have so far not been a psychological problem for me.
Looking back at the past season: You started well with a podium in Lake Louise, then a 5th place finish. In Bad Kleinkirchheim you finished 6th. Everything was going quite well until your injury?
Dominique Gisin: Of course it was a real shame with my injury in Cortina. The season had gotten off to a good start and I felt fitter than ever before. It had also been an important step forward for me in giant slalom to establish myself in the top 30. I had big plans and then the injury. But I know what I need to focus on and look that much more forward to next season now.
You finished in the Top 15 in giant slalom both in Sölden and Aspen. Will we see you racing giant slalom next season too?
Dominique Gisin: If everything works out with the knee I will for sure plan to start in giant slalom. We have to now see how the training goes. My main focus will obviously be on the speed events and so far all is well and I hope I can continue in the direction I embarked on last season.
Next season will see some changes in the equipment. Did you have a chance to test the new material after your injury in the last few days and what speaks for a men’s ski in the ladies downhill?
Dominique Gisin: I have already tested the new equipment. I don’t find the changes between the new and current material that large. On the ladies’ side the change had already emerged even before the rule change. Lindsey started it and then the others followed, first in speed but then also in giant slalom. I also raced a 1.89 m ski this season. It is a natural development on our side. I believe it provides more stability, and in speed events, a more composed style of skiing. But it also requires more strength to be able to ski these skis.
There have been some changes in your team leadership, as after the departure of Stefan Abplanalp also Mauro Pini has left the team. Will Hans Flatscher bring some more peace now and have you spoken with him already?
Dominique Gisin: I think Hans is a great choice. Everyone has high hopes for him. He will surely bring the required peace to the team now. I have had two phone calls with him and I think he has some really good ideas which we hope to implement in order to return as strong as possible next year.
You like to read books, listen to music and you are also very present for your fans on the Internet. It seems to be very important for you to maintain direct contact with your fans. You seem to be very good at managing your time too?!
Dominique Gisin: (laughs) I have made a small plan for my time investment and I do try to write a blog a week and also shoot a video clip. My web page should remain up-to-date. If you have a web site you should maintain it. But it is also clear when there is a lot going on, I’m having a hard time or am tired, then I will put a lower priority on that. The training and recovery are more important and when the time is tight then these things take a back seat. But it is going well and I have now a lot of experience so it does not take much time any more. And on top of that I have a great webmaster who helps me a lot so it all works out very fast.
Your fans surely appreciate the time you invest in them!
Dominique Gisin: Yes and I too enjoy it. For me it provides an opportunity to share things I would like focus on without the framework of an interview. In an interview I can only answer the posed questions but in a blog I can guide the content as I want.
How are you spending Easter?
Dominique Gisin: At home with the family.
When and where will you take vacation?
Dominique Gisin: I don’t know yet. Some time at the end of April with the plane that I will fly myself. But I will mostly stay at home, take it easy. But then when I do go somewhere, I will take some city trips, with the plane.