Tina Weirather dreams of a medal in Schladming
The 23-year-old, petite Tina Weirather from Liechtenstein emerged on the top of the ladies’ speed rankings last season with 5 podiums, to finish as the runner-up to Lindsey Vonn in the World Cup downhill rankings. The daughter of Hanni Wenzel and Harti Weirather, who together had 39 World Cup wins, is pre-destined for success on the racing slopes but has experienced some setbacks during the early season this year.
As last year, you opened the speed season in Lake Louise (CAN) with a podium finish but then injured yourself in the super-G just thereafter – how are you doing and are your shinbone and the Schuhrandprellung fine by now?
TW: Unfortunately I had to miss several races and that of course hurts – but now I am healthy again and looking forward to the upcoming races!
You had a stellar season last year, finishing 2nd (DH), 7th (SG) and 9th (overall). Do you think you can match these World Cup results this year or are the Worlds in Schladming now your main goal?
TW: Yes I had a superb season last year and I have set the goals high for this season too. The expectations are now up there and it is no longer easy to exceed those any more. But I would like to collect as many podiums as possible and it is my dream to win a medal at the World Championships in Schladming.
You continue to train with the Swiss ladies‘ team which obviously seems to be a very successful partnership. How is it working?
TW: Yes I feel very well as part of this team and training with them pushes me forward every day. We are all very focused on success and want to improve continuously. And there is never a dull day with them in terms of having fun either!
In summer, rumor had it you might be switching to Ski Jumping, but that was probably just a rumor (see here)… Do you enjoy an adrenaline kick off-piste too?
TW: Hahaha I think I would need to lose some 20 kg for that! But the feeling on the hill was definitely very cool. Even the ski jumpers said that I was crazy to jump with my alpine skiing skis. But ski jumping skis would have been even crazier, no doubt!
We’ve seen you like baking – what do you like to bake most?
TW: Yes I like to bake a pie every so often and at Christmas time I like to bake "Krömle", i.e. Christmas cookies. My specialties are the rhubarb pie and raspberry roll (roulade).
As a relatively small-sized female what are your strengths in the speed events compared with the much bigger competitors such as Vonn, Höfl-Riesch & Maze?
TW: I think I have a very good feeling while skiing and ski technically clean. I have never thought about my advantages and disadvantages relative to the competition but instead try to fully leverage my skills and make the most out of it.
How about the “new” skis – are there pros and cons to them or does one even notice the difference?
TW: In the speed events the change is not that big and I did not have any issues with the change at all. In giant slalom the change is very significant. I have always been a supporter of safety and wanted to give the new rules a chance. Now I have crashed a few times because the skis are narrower which means that the shoe catches the snow and you fall. This fact should be considered and observed carefully to find solutions as soon as possible.
So far your best results have come in the speed events – how about GS, now and in future?
TW: I am training hard to also make it to the top in GS. Unfortunately my injury this season has meant that I missed three GS races and also have DNFed twice. But I am going to keep fighting to get there ;)