FIS Cross-country talk with Julia Svan
FIS Cross-country recently caught up with promising young Swedish skier Julia Svan as she prepares for the upcoming FIS U23 World Championships in Val di Fiemme (ITA). It is the the 20-year old Svan’s first visit to the U23 Championships.
Last season she competed at the Junior World Championships and brought home gold in the 4 x 3.3 km relay. Svan’s father is legendary Swedish skier Gunde Svan and her mother skied for Sweden at the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, and represented the country at two World Ski Championships.
FIS: Last year you competed at your first Junior World Championships in Liberec, (CZE) and now this year you have moved up to the U23 level. Do you have a special memory from your time in Liberec last season?
JS: It was a really great experience. We got the gold medal in the 4 x 3.3 km team relay.
FIS: After getting a taste of the podium last year have you set your sights on a podium result here in Val di Fiemme?
JS: I really don’t know. After the Tour de Ski I was sick for two weeks. So I have only now been training for one week. I am just here to do my best. But of course I hope it is possible to fight for a podium. I will compete in all the events. I am most looking forward to the 7.5 x 7.5 km Skiathlon on Saturday.
FIS: Do you have a preference between the two ski techniques?
JS: For me it’s classic, that is my favourite. I don’t think I am a sprinter, but when my shape is good then anything is possible.
FIS: Speaking of the Tour de Ski. How was that experience for you?
JS: I was there as a reserve. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped and then I got sick afterwards. But it was still an amazing experience for me just to be apart of it all.
FIS: How was Alpe Cermis for you competing in your first Tour? Was it as hard as everyone says it is?
JS: It was very tough, but I was very happy to make it to the top. It was as hard as everyone says. I think it was a great opportunity for me for the future. I hope to have the chance again next year.
FIS: What are your plans for the season after the U23’s. Might we see you again on World Cup?
JS: First, I will compete in the Scandinavian Cups in Norway. Then Sweden will have some nation’s group spots for the Lahti World Cups and I hope to be apart of those competitions. It will be tough to make the team though, there are many strong skiers in Sweden.
FIS: Of course I have to ask about your famous parents. What role do they play in your ski career?
JS: My parents let my coaches be my coaches. Both are very supportive and offer advice when needed. My mom was here during the Tour de Ski to cheer me on. My dad was sick so he wasn’t able to make the trip.
FIS: With both of your parents having competed on the World Cup before sprint competitions and events like the Tour de Ski, do they ever say “I wish that existed when I was competing”?
JS: For sure they both think the Tour is great for the sport. I know my mother would have wanted to have had a chance to compete in the sprints, she feels it would have suited her.