We are certainly going through a particular and complex period due to the Covid-19 outbreak. How did you experience the post-season with a forced stop? And how did you experience your quarantine period?
Elena Curtoni (ITA)- Usually, as soon as the World Cup season ends, I spend a few weeks testing new materials and training on skis and then go on holiday away to some exotic country. This year was different; I was back from the races in La Thuile, I had a few days off, so I went directly to Genoa, at my boyfriend's house, my suitcase was "pure winter", from one day to the next all Italy was locked down, so the next two months sweaters and ski jackets became superfluous! At first, it was bizarre, every day the news kept us informed about how critical the situation was, I lived emotionally on a roller coaster, but I took the opportunity to dedicate some time to myself and my passions: drawing, painting and reading. In the meantime, I equipped myself with gym equipment, and I regularly trained.
Mattia Casse (ITA)- My quarantine went very well; I rested the first weeks of March, and then I equipped myself at home with a gym, and I had no more problems to train as I wanted.
I took the opportunity to work at home tidying up the house, fixing up the garden and taking some time to recover from the season.
How was the return to skiing, and how did you experience the restrictions?
EC- The return on skis was strange but beautiful, at the beginning I was worried because it seemed imprudent to go to a hotel, get out of what had become my safe circle. Once I put on my boots and skis I forgot everything, and I remembered how beautiful that feeling was, how much freedom our sport can give. However, I never forgot to have some extra attention once I got back indoors. Mask and hand sanitizer are my best friends now. It was still a little stressful to stay three weeks "closed" again at 3000mt, but we returned to "normal life" which is good!
MC- My return on skis was earlier than in previous years, Fisi closed an agreement with the Stelvio glacier, so we were able to train very well and exclusively. We varied a lot on the technical side, and it was a very positive period.
All in all the quarantine-break wasn't so long since only three months have passed from the last race to the return on skis.
Speaking of last season, for the first time in your career you entered the top 10 in the world WCSL being more consistent during the season and approaching the podium several times. What has changed compared to the past? And what needs to be improved to reach the podium or the victory?
MC- In the last three years, I've worked a lot at mental level with Lorenzo Marconi and athletic level with Juri Ambrosioni. I have finally put things in order, and this has led me to be more substantial, whether in competition or my approach to the race.
My goal has become above all to find consistency race by race and then draw conclusions at the end of the season. Even though I didn't make it to the podium, I'm happy with the solidity that I have shown and achieved during the season.
As for next year, my goal is to continue on this path of technical and mental solidity and then play it on the field, trying to be more effective in the key points of the track.
You have a very competitive team, but during last season you missed your captains. Was it an awkward moment to face at team level?
MC- We missed Paris a lot, a strong athlete like him is a pull for the whole group. We still are a very competitive team with high-level athletes who have won a lot in the past, like Innerhofer and Marsaglia. In short, we never get bored!
Once the team will be rebuilt, will you return to be one of the most competitive teams and what will it be like to face Cortina World Championships at home?
MC- We'll face our path as we've always done working and spurring ourselves into training, then once we will qualify for the World Championships, the best will win.
Speaking of last season, you scored your first World Cup victory and captained a historic Italian hat-trick in Bansko. Now that a few months have passed, what can you tell us about that victory and what emotions you felt when you won for the first time?
EC- Winning in the World Cup is every child's dream. Bansko's victory was a great satisfaction, already the day before with the fourth place I had taken a weight off from my shoulders. The success was the confirmation that the work I was doing was the right one. I managed to return to my level after two difficult years, marked by injuries one after the other, I worked a lot, and finally, I reached a small goal. Now I can enjoy!
The Italian women's team proved to be the most competitive of last season, and now that they have confirmed the World Championships in Cortina, you will arrive as favourites in your first home World Championships. How was it to receive the confirmation news, and how do you think you will experience the event?
EC- I am thrilled about Cortina 2021 World Championships' confirmation! The "insiders" have invested a lot of time and energy in the organization of this major event, and it will undoubtedly be exciting. What's more, Cortina is one of my favourite venues! We are a powerful team, and being able to play a medal at home is just amazing.
How was it to receive the news that it has been confirmed and how do you think you will experience the event?
MC- Finally, the World Championships in Cortina D'Ampezzo has been confirmed, and we were all looking forward to this positive response. It will be a fantastic opportunity to show off and try to do our best in front of our audience!
What does Cortina2021 World Championship mean to you? And what does Cortina D'Ampezzo mean to you?
EC- Cortina 2021 will be my first home big event, at a crucial moment of my career, it would be extraordinary to be able to achieve a remarkable result.
I remember Cortina's races with a smile; I raced on "Olimpia" slope for the first time in 2011; it was my first year in the World Cup. With a suitable placement, I could still play the qualification for the World Championships in Garmisch Partenkirchen, I finished 10th in the first SG and 15th in the second one, and I've been able to sign up for my first World Championships.
MC- It means racing in front of the people with whom I have shared my sporting path since I was a child, and it is undoubtedly one of the most strong push to do my best. For me, Cortina D'Ampezzo is one of the most beautiful places in the world where I have often competed, and I hope to return there as a qualified athlete at the 2021 World Championships.
What will be your goal for the season and the World Championships?
EC- In the next season, I would like to be able to have consistency in my disciplines. The goal for the World Championships will be to qualify first and then aim for a medal.
MC- My goal for the season is to try to get my first World Cup podium and then, of course, it would be special to get the medal in super G. There will be a lot of work to achieve these goals, but I hope so.
Click here for more information on FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina D'Ampezzo.