Crossing the finish line with his best World Cup result, Emanuele Buzzi broke his tibial plateau in Wengen, and his season has been brutally interrupted. Now, he is getting ready to achieve the podium he was so close to last season. Here Emanuele Buzzi’s story.
Let's have a look at the 2017/2018 season. It was the season that brought you to the top level of the World Cup with Kitzbühel's eleventh place and Garmisch-Partenkirchen tenth place. What was the turning point that allowed you to reach those results?
The season started far below expectations because the feeling during the summer training was excellent. From January, however, something changed in me that allowed me to regain the confidence I lost at the beginning of the season, and, after a few good results, I ended my season in a really positive way. I think it was crucial that I had convinced myself that during the summer training I had made some great progress, and it allowed me to face the races with the right attitude, no matter the outcome.
After these above-mentioned results, you won your ticket to your first Olympics. What was your experience of this great event?
It was certainly one of the most important achievements so far. It was the goal I set for myself at the start of the season, but after the first few races I saw it as far away and almost impossible to reach. When I was selected for the team, the emotion was incredible.
Unfortunately, the 2018/2019 season has been interrupted by the tibial plateau injury crossing the finish line of the Wengen Downhill, where you obtained your best World Cup result. What were your first thoughts after your crash at the finish area? Did you immediately understand the severity of the injury?
As soon as I crossed the finish line I was very pleased with what I managed to do on the slope, even if I didn't know the result yet. After the crash, I immediately realized that it was something serious, but my first thought was about my rank! From there, I spent the whole afternoon trying to figure out whether to be happy about my best result or sad, thinking that I would have missed the rest of the season, including the World Championships.
How was your recovery and what’s your plan for the summer?
I spent three months on crutches, doing physical therapy between the gym and the swimming pool. I feel much better now, and I put my skis on for the first time at the beginning of July. From now on, my team and I will have skiing camp at Stelvio Glacier, and we will leave for Ushuaia the 19th of August.
What are your next goals, and how do you imagine your journey to reach them?
Throughout my career I have always believed in the importance of constant growth in terms of physical preparation and results.The race is the final result, but the most important thing is being consistent throughout the season. This is the key to achieving the top place.
How important are the physical and the mental aspects in your discipline? Which one is weaker than the other?
In my opinion, these two aspects have almost the same value. My mental preparation can definitely be improved.
The Italian Speed Team is really strong; what are the pros and cons to your professional growth, training alongside athletes such as Dominik Paris, Peter Fill and Christof Innerhofer?
Until now, it’s been only a positive thing for my professional growth. Training and "living" alongside top athletes with such great experience meant that I could learn a lot. So, I try to benefit from each situation.
How does your team-life look? What are the positive and negative aspects?
Differently from other teams, we are lucky to be able to spend some days at home during the winter. Over the last seasons, we focused a lot on teamwork because we recognised it as crucial for everyone’s growth.Our life is unpredictable, and it makes it even more difficult to maintain relationships with family and friends, but I have gotten used to it, and I wouldn't change it.
What does Emanuele Buzzi look like without skis? What would be your perfect lifestyle, and what are your favorite hobbies?
I’m a quiet and sociable person. I love hanging out with friends and living the nature of my home place, Sappada (Dolomites). I love playing golf and watching Tv series.