Nicol Delago made her World Cup debut in 2015. Since then she has become an integral part of the Italian Downhill Team. Having achieved her first World Cup podium last year, she is looking to become one of the speed queens of the circuit.
Your first World Cup race was in St.Moritz 2015, and since then your growth was steady in term of results; your first top-ten arrived in 2017 in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee,and last season you achieved your first World Cup Podium in Val Gardena, your hometown. How would you describe your journey?
I am very pleased with the way my journey is going. I think it is very important to constantly grow and consolidate every single step taken. In the first two seasons of 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 my main goal was to improve in the European Cup, but I also had the opportunity to occasionally compete in the World Cup, having my first important experiences there. After that, I started competing regularly in the World Cup, and I took this opportunity to learn from my experiences. Learning a lot from my teammates, who are all really strong and a great source of inspiration, I improved step by step.
How exciting and special was the podium in Val Gardena?
It was an incredible day full of emotions. I was already very glad to be able to compete on the slopes where I grew up, no matter the outcome. I tried to enjoy every single moment-- to live everything at my best. Just like when I was a child, I was at home, slept in my bed, had breakfast at my house, and then my dad took me to the gondola, . I love this slope, and all the support I felt at the start gave me an incredible boost. Regarding what happened later, I’m still speechless; I felt like the main character of a movie-- and that movie was my first World Cup podium.
In reviewing of your career so far, you won two bronze medals at the Junior World Championships of Hafjell and Sochi, and most importantly you participated at your first Olympics in Pyeongchang. How do you describe these achievements?
I have wonderful memories of the junior world championships. They are always great events and well organized. I am very grateful for the two medals that I managed to win, especially the bronze in Hafjell that I didn't really expect. These little achievements gave me so much confidence and a lot of motivation, and I’ve always tried to take them as a starting point.Big events are always something special, and at that point in my career I honestly didn't expect to participate in the Pyeongchang Olympics.
How did you experience your first Olympics, and what did you expect from it?
I think it is the dream of many children to take part at the Olympic Games, and I am very happy with the chance I had. There is always a special atmosphere; there are so many athletes from all over the world, and living the Olympic spirit is something unique.I tried to appreciate these moments-- to race at my best and concentrate on my performance. Unfortunately I made a mistake, and I failed to finish the course, but it was still a great experience.
What are your future goals?
My goal is to improve in every single area: technically, physically, tactically and mentally. After that, being able to work on quality.
Your uncles Oskar and Karla competed in the World Cup in the 1980s, your younger sister Nadia started competing in World Cup this year, and your father Norbert first encouraged your skiing. How important is it to belong to a ‘skier’ family?
Having this kind of family next to me is certainly a huge support. You always have dependable people around you who help you to achieve your best. Most importantly, these people are always there, even in the most difficult moments.
The Italian team is one of the most close-knit in the World Cup. What is your relationship with your teammates?
I was lucky to be able to grow up in a very strong team with many strong and experienced champions. They always helped me a lot and gave me valuable advice. They are always pulling for me, and training with them motivates me daily to improve .
Last season your team struggled due the fact that a lot of athletes were injured before the start of the season. How did you react?
It definitely wasn't easy starting the season with a lot of our teammates out of the game. We spend so much time together, and our companions become like a second family so it makes you feel sorry. On the other hand, we have to keep fighting for ourselves and go on with the awareness that injuries are part of the game.
On your social media we’ve often seen your faithful friend: your dog Mika!!
Yes Mikaaaaa ... I love him so much.. He gives me so much peace and happiness. When I come home after a weekend of competing I love walking together. It's something that relaxes me and helps me get my mind off racing . He is a two-year-old Samoyedo, and I didn't think I could become so attached to an animal.
When you were little you used to play tennis and do horse riding. Are you still able to practice other sports?
I really enjoy doing many kinds of sports, and I still try to combine them with my usual training. I really like being in the middle of nature, walking in the mountains, going mountain biking, and in recent years I’ve started climbing. Living in Val Gardena is the perfect environment to practice everything I want to.
Do you want to thank someone?
I want to thank all those who have always supported me since I was a child, and to those who are still allowing me to live my dream:Thank you.