Q&A Viktoria Rebensburg
Germany's Olympic Champion Viktoria Rebensburg is regularly on the podium in three disciplines and often strong at big events.Next season she is expected to be a contender for the Olympic and season title.
Last October, you got injured and had to sit out important training weeks and the season opener in Sölden. Tell us about the injury and your rehab.
Already in August 2016 I had back problems and was able to complete only three training days in the speed disciplines. After that, we had a training camp in Saas-Fee but the bad weather conditions allowed us to train only once. And finally, I suffered an undisplaced tibial fracture in a crash right before the start of the season which resulted in an extensive rehabilitation period. All this rendered an optimal preparation for the season impossible.
Finishing third place in the Overall standings last season, the expectations were probably higher. To what extent did the sub-optimal preparation prevent you from performing at your best?
I didn’t have the flow in my preparation, so I wasn’t able to bring a good rhythm into the season. I was taken to my limit over and over again during the winter. The first races were especially difficult for me, but then I raised the level significantly in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and at the World Championships. I had good speed and good splits there, but the constancy was not there as the rhythm didn’t work from the summer preparation on. In addition to that, the hundredths were not always on my side, especially with fourth place finishes in Cortina, St. Moritz and Aspen.
Yet there were some good results this season. What was your personal highlight this season and why?
It was a great feeling to be on the podium in Semmering and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. A medal at the World Championships would also have been a highlight, but I didn’t have the chance to grab one this season.
As an Olympic Champion (GS gold medallist in Vancouver 2010), what’s your mind-set going into the 2017/18 season with Olympic Games in PyeongChang in February?
Of course, I want to be in the pole position; this is what my sport is about. My goal is always to race for a medal.
How was your experience on the course in Jeongseon at the test events?
It was a very good experience to test out the hill and have a race there. It was fun, the course is great and I’m looking forward to the Olympic Games.
Is the summer training plan remaining the same going into the Olympic season or did you adapt something?
Every single season needs the best possible preparation, so as usual, I use the competition break in summer for intensive training with a clear and very demanding plan.
You are one of the only German speed athletes on the ladies side and have joined forces with other teams. Can you tell us about this collaboration?
I had the chance to train in Norway after the season; we have a very good relationship with the Scandinavian coaches and athletes, so I used the opportunity to have some more days of ski training. For me, it’s always good to compare myself to international top athletes and get to know different people and different mind-sets.
An Olympic title (GS 2010), an Olympic bronze medal (GS 2014), a World Championship silver medal (GS 2015), two Crystal globes (GS 2010 & 2011), 13 World Cup victories and 33 podiums. It’s already an outstanding career summary. What gives you the motivation to keep pushing after 12 successful seasons?
I try to be better every day, to surpass myself, push the limits and bring out even more. This is my motivation. What I like since I was a kid is the competition. Sometimes, I had to convince my parents to allow me to compete. Of course, what I like is also the surroundings, the mountains and the snow. There is nothing more beautiful than standing on a mountain, doesn’t’ matter if it is at home, in Canada or in Argentina, to experience this immenseness, that’s freedom to me.