Meet a Legend: Nicola Thost

17 October 2013 10:30
Nicola Thost
Nicola Thost -

Nicola Thost is a former German Snowboarder who claimed the gold medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano (JPN), in the Olympic debut for Snowboard and her event, halfpipe. The 36-year-old also claimed more than 25 World Cup podiums and ended her career in 2013 due to injuries.

As part of its interview series “Meet a Legend”, FIS Newsflash talked to Nicola.

What does your life after your sporting career look like?

I created my own talent scouting series ”Sprungbrett“ for young and ambitious Freestyle Rookies. During the 2013/2014 season, there are six stops all over Austria where we go shred together and share impressions with the kids about the life of a professional snowboarder. I also organise Snowboard camps for girls who love to ride. Besides some other on-snow projects, it makes a quite busy winter season.

In the summer I spent a lot of time travelling, visiting friends, mountain biking, windsurfing and enjoyed some recreational time to get inspired for what comes next.

Did you prepare for your life after sports during your career and if yes, what did it look like?

Finishing school and not spending all the money I earned during my career was a good first step to prepare. Back then, the infrastructure of teams, trainers and managers was not yet established. Managing my life as a professional athlete with organising my travels, calendar, training, competition schedule, sponsors, media and marketing was an intense lifetime education which I wouldn’t want to miss.

Last but not least, my decision to quit competition riding at the right time - even when I was still Number 1 - due to many recurring injuries led to what I do today.

How much time do you still spend on snow?

The entire winter while the snow is falling I’m on the slopes during weekends with Sprungbrett and my Snow Camps and during the week as often as possible before or after work. Mostly off piste, searching for powder and exploring new areas anywhere in the Alps.

Who is your favourite athlete outside of your discipline with whom you would like to go for a drink and why?

I love to meet and share time with people who are really passionate about what they do. No matter what sport they are into. Dedicating your life to sport requires a certain mind-set. You won’t reach the top doing things everyone else does. It’s interesting to share experiences of an unconventional road of life.

Which athlete of your times would you like to see compete in the Sochi Olympics and why?

The Olympics are meant for the generation of TODAY. That’s perfect as it is. I am happy for everyone who aimed to take part and qualifies. Today the snowboarders also get the support, respect and cheers they deserve which is great.

If there was a general ”all time snowboarder“ discipline I’d love to get the chance to ride again with legends like Terje Haakonsen, Nicole Angelrath, Nicolas Müller, Gigi Rüff, Wolle Nyvelt, Stefan Gimpl, and Michi Albin. In this connection, bringing that generation together for a shred would be a great idea and should be one of my next missions. :-)