Marcus Hellner enjoys the off-season
With the ski season over for another year, Swedish skier and Olympic gold medallist Marcus Hellner has the summer to reflect on yet another successful year in an impressive cross-country racing career.
At just 25, Hellner is already at the top of his game. We spoke to Petter Northug's biggest rival.
Q: You won the FIS World Ski Championship in Oslo this year – that must have left you with a good feeling at the end of the season?
Marcus Helnner: I’m feeling great and I'm very happy with all my skiing success. It often feels like a dream come true. To win the medals has been a really big thing for me. Hopefully I can be even better in the future.
Q: Is Olympic success the pinnacle of sporting achievement for you?
M.H.: Maybe. It is the highest thing I can achieve, but the most important thing for me is to get a really good feeling on the skis and to make sure that everything is perfect on the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s the world championships or the Olympics – the best thing is when everything is perfect.
Q: What’s the next accolade you’d like to add to your glowing CV?
M.H.: Next season we don’t have any world championships or Olympics, but the overall World Cup is my goal. I want to have that good feeling for the whole year. The most important competition is probably the Tour de Ski, in January. It’s a collection of eight races in ten days.
Q: Do you ski for fun?
M.H.: In the north of Sweden, it's very beautiful in the springtime. It's warm and sunny and the snow is perfect for skiing. I do a lot of that when the season is over, just for fun. This is the best time for a skier. It sounds crazy, but yes, I suppose I ski for work and I ski for fun.
Q: Is skiing a big a part of the Swedish national identity?
M.H.: Skiing is very big in Sweden and we have very good opportunities with great snow and mountains. Everybody in the family likes skiing. My parents follow me to competitions, although they never pushed me into it. I’ve loved it since I was young, but they helped me to make it.
Q: Apart from skiing, what do you get up to?
M.H.: My biggest interest is snowmobiling – I’m going today actually. There's a sense of freedom going wherever you want and I really like being among nature. You can go everywhere and it's fun to play around, climb up the mountains or just cruise around. I go with friends and it’s great.
You can read the whole interview at: http://www.redbull.com/cs/Satellite/en_INT/Article/Red-Bull-Marcus-Hellner-Interview-021243009481944
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