Stephanie Brunner is a real fighter. Her first comeback has already shown it, but now she is set to return to the World Cup even stronger.
You were having one of the best seasons in your career, mostly because you were coming back from major knee injuries. You skied your first World Cup podium with a third place at Killington Giant Slalom, and you had 3 top-six finishes. Speaking of good memories: how did you feel crossing the finish line in third place, just 2 races after your last injury?
I actually couldn’t realize it. All the hard work during the summer has finally paid off, even though I only had just a few skiing days before the season started. However, I always believed in myself and my skills.
How hard was coming back after breaking your knee the first time, and how hard is coming back now after the same injury?
Of course it was very bitter, but I knew that I could come back stronger and could make it, with all its ups and downs. The second injury was even more disappointing for me because I missed various World Cup races. Despite this, I didn’t let it get me down and I put all my energy into my rehab. So far, I have always shown that I can come back stronger after injuries.
What was your first thought when you found out you reinjured your left knee?
I cannot really put these thoughts into words. In 10 months, I suffered two torn ACL ligaments and meniscus injuries. Of course, at the beginning I was shocked, but everybody who knows me knows that nothing can get me off track so fast.
What was your recovery plan? When are you planning to coming back to skiing?
I did my recovery at the Olympic centre of Innsbruck and it went very well. I can already do everything again in my physical training, and I am very happy that I can train again within the group. Since everything went in the right direction, I was able to come back on snow this month.
What have you been doing in your free time since you were were forced to take a break from skiing? What do you like to do the most?
I don’t really have a lot of free time ;-). My training schedule is quite full. But if I have free time, I like being in the mountains or doing something with friends the most.
You are pretty famous on the White Circus for the big tattoo on your arm- what does it mean to you? Do you have others?
My lion tattoo. The spirit of fighting has great importance in my life. Sometimes it doesn’t work like you want, but giving up is never an option for me. That’s what I associate with this tattoo-- and yes, I do have three other tattoos.
You are a very reserved person and from your social media we can’t see much-- which is fair, of course. How would you describe yourself? What are your secrets?
That‘s true. I don’t post a lot of personal things via social media. That does not actually mean that I am a calm and reserved person ;-). I am a person you can have fun with any time. However, I am a very strong and honest person, and I always say my own opinion.