Interview by nordicmag.info originally published 18-10-2017
After a half-hearted season, Maurice Manificat returns ambitious and confident for this Olympic winter. "For the relay, we are a team of outsiders," he says, with the podium relay in a corner of his mind.
Before starting an Olympic Winter, what is your view of your previous season?
It wasn't really a benchmark season unlike that of two years ago which was super successful with a 2nd place world ranking in distance and a 5th overall in the World Cup. My summer preparation was based on this successful season. I feel confident and did not have any injuries. I was able to do the sessions I wanted. I'm pretty good at things. It looks good.
Last year the preparation was not "perfect" ...
No, I had injured a toe and I got sick quite regularly which disrupted my volume training during in the summer. All this created stop phases in the preparation that I did not need at all.
I was also focused a lot in "reproducing" the perfect season of the previous winter by putting some pressure on myself. And then, we have evolved our bodybuilding sessions too, exploring tracks before the Olympic year. This summer, we returned to empirical training and also based on feeling. That's what works. On an Olympic year, we avoid taking risks without stopping either because every two years, we also have the World Championships. We must always seek to progress even if from a collective point of view, we missed our Lahti Worlds. This fall, I will train and participate in team camps in known places that gives me confidence.
Do you discuss this Olympic season differently?
Not at all. Whether it's a season with or without Olympics or Worlds, I do not approach a winter differently. I know it's just in the last few weeks before the event that something special is going to happen and to arrive fresh and ready. The days of athletes who were not seen for two or three years and who shone at the Games are over! They were often found on the lists of doped athletes. In cross-country skiing, we have a world circuit every year and in any case, the density makes that we can not do too many dead ends, or seasons off.
What are you dreaming about in Pyeongchang?
Of course, I dream of a medal. It is a goal even if we are still far from the meeting. Nothing is done yet! The important thing will be to get there with confidence and in the best shape possible. It is at the last moment that it will be necessary to be ready. We are preparing for it: for now, we think only of how to go in the best arrangements. I see it as a ski tour for example ... I do not see myself aiming only at the Games.
In absolute terms, I would like to race everything.
For the complete interview click HERE.