15 January 2013 17:57
Inner hiking
Inner hiking -

By Michael Mastarciyan


James Bond or Christof Innerhofer – which one would you rather be?

One is a fictional international spy who leads of life of action and danger, and always ends up with a beautiful woman.

The other is a real-life international super-star athlete/fashion model (more on that later) who leads a life of action and danger, and always ends up with a beautiful woman.

Why am I mentioning beautiful women in a news story about a World Cup skier...have you ended up on TMZ.COM’s alpine ski racing gossip page by mistake?

Before you raise your eyebrows any further, let me do some explaining…

Inner, as he’s called by friends and fans alike, has for years, had a reputation as an international playboy-type “player” as they say in current urban/street parlance. You know what I mean here right? The kind of guy who loves the company of women and is a complete stranger to concepts such as commitment, settling down, monogamy, marriage, etc... Kind of a George Clooney-on-skis, and reminiscent of another famous Italian ski racer with a reputation for loving the ladies named Alberto Tomba...you remember him right? Tall, dark, handsome, and a certain “je ne sais quoi” with the ladies and slalom gates.

Well, here comes the “news value” part of this story (okay I’m stretching) – Inner – AND THIS IS BREAKING NEWS – is officially “off the market” and now in a committed relationship with a beautiful woman he calls his girlfriend!

Inner, broke the news to me recently, and after I lifted my jaw off the ground, I asked him if he was comfortable doing a public Facebook-style “in a relationship” status update as one of the “5 Things You Should Know About…” him - he agreed.

So here is more on Inner’s new life as a former bachelor who is now a guy in serious relationship, and a few other neat tidbits about the reigning world Super-G and Beaver Creek World Cup Downhill champ…..


“I guess I’ve always been a little bit of a womanizer, but it’s now a thing of the past, now I have a girlfriend and I’m really happy. I’ve been traveling the world for years as a single guy, and I’ve enjoyed that life, but I realized it was time to take the “right train” so I took it, and it was the right decision. Some guys will be in a long-term relationship when they’re 20, and then when they’re 25 and married, they’ll feel like they missed out of the single life. I’ve enjoyed the single life, and now at 27, I feel like it’s time to be more settled down.” 

1. Inner is a playboy no more...and is, as they say on Facebook, “in a relationship”...

“As you get older, you see things differently. When I had some back issues last spring, I couldn’t go to training camp, and had lots of time at home, and felt what a ‘normal life’ was like - no stress, not so busy, not thinking all the time about goals, to be faster, to train more. I saw the world differently for the first time, and I think it changed the way I  thought about relationships. My girlfriend is a journalist too, she’s 28 and really fantastic! In the old days, my life was only skiing, skiing, skiing. Now, being in this relationship, I question how it was possible for me to only think about skiing as the only important thing in my life. Now I have two important things in my life, skiing and my girlfriend. I  also know how important she is to me, because when I left home to travel this season, it was the first time I ever felt sad, and I think that says a lot.”


“My main sponsor is the underwear company Tezenis, so I think it kind of started with that since I’ve done some modelling there. My modeling campaign for Armani began about a year ago. I’ve been in photo shoots for EA7, Armani’s skiwear line, as well the 2013 summer sportswear line, and some other shoots for Armani’s more elegant clothing lines. I’ve always loved Armani clothing, who doesn’t love it! I really enjoy modeling because the fashion world is so different from the world of ski racing. It’s nice to think about other things, to see the world in a different light, and the people working in the fashion world are really special. My girlfriend might be a bit jealous when I’m doing photo shoots with attractive models, but hey, I’m jealous too when she’s doing news interviews with good lucking guys too!”

2. Inner really enjoys having a second career...as a fashion model for Giorgio Armani!

3. Inner’s favourite hobby is...ECONOMICS!

“Something people don’t know about me for sure, is that I’m really into economics. I watch the different stock markets around the world every day. I bought my first stocks when I was about 14. When I was in school I was always interested in economics and math, I was good in these subjects and really bad in the rest (says with a big smile). Economics is important for your overall general knowledge, especially given the economic situation in Europe and the world today. I like to keep up on what’s going on in the world, what the future will be like in fiscal terms, what are the trends, what’s changing, what’s happening to interest rates. I’ve been reading books on economics and business for years. This is my hobby and it’s a good one I think.”

“I like to invest some of my earnings myself, but I do it wisely. I’ve been in the markets since I was 14, and it’s been up and down, up and down, wins, losses, wins, losses. So I’ve been studying more, and now I have a new strategy that I’ve been using for the last two years. Now I’m mostly into bigger stocks, blue chip stocks, like Apple, Gazprom and stuff like that because I like to sleep well at night!”


4. Inner love to hunt...MUSHROOMS!

“Since I was a kid, I always went mushroom hunting with my parents. Where we live there are tons of mushrooms so it’s something we’ve always done as a family. When I was about 10, I started going mushroom hunting alone because my parents were working and couldn’t always go. We always share our mushroom hauls. We keep 15-20 kilos for us for the winter and the rest we give away, and favourite mushroom dish is Canederli con porchini.”

“I don’t have much time these days, so I only go hunting now when I know there will be lots of mushrooms to pick, because when pickings are slim it gets kind of boring. I think it’s really good for your head, because when you’re alone you can  relax and clear your mind, which is really helpful for training too. My hunting expeditions usually last four or five hours. It’s a lot of uphill and downhill climbs, which are great for conditioning. My personal record, picking alone, is 28 kilos of mushrooms. This year we collected 94 kilos of Porcini mushrooms between four people on one of our trips. I also love Chiodini mushrooms, my record there is 103 kilos in one day, alone! But no magic mushrooms, those I leave for the others (he says with a huge laugh)!”

5. Inner loves to go fishing...

“I’ve always loved fishing and I used to go a lot with my father when I was young. I don’t have much time for it now, but I still go about twice a year. The biggest fish I ever caught was a trout that was about 58 cms long. Last summer in the Maldives I took a deep sea fishing trip to catch some tuna. I was really sad at the end of the day, because I ended up catching about four fish around 50 cms long each, but I had dreams of catching a metre long tuna! I’d love to to go salmon fishing in Canada someday too. When I end my racing career one day, I’ll do that for sure.”