Skip to content
A look back and forward with Fanny Smith
© GEPA

At 29 years old, Swiss ski cross ace Fanny Smith is the winningest athlete among men and women, multiple World Championships medallist, Olympic Winter Games medallist and triple SX crystal globe owner. No doubt that Smith is on top of her game entering the Olympic winter season 2021/22. We asked the Swiss champ some questions on the past, but also on the exciting upcoming season to find out what fans can expect and what’s in store on the road to Beijing 2022.

Looking back at last season, with breaking the record for most World Cup wins among men and women (29 World Cup wins!), grabbing another medal at the World Champs (your fifth!), winning the overall Crystal globe (your third!), can you sum up what the season meant for you and how it made you feel? 

For sure it was an incredible season filled with a lot of emotion. My grandmother sadly died just before the start of the season and she was always my biggest supporter, always sending me emails before and after each race telling me what I did wrong or right!  So, I missed her a lot. Then I also probably had one of my most successful years on the circuit. This was the result of a lot of hard work and training, but when I began racing, I never imagined I would ever win more races than any other athlete so it was a very proud moment to be able to do that.

If you had to pick one event/ achievement/ milestone that was the greatest for you last season, which one would you name and why? 

I have always said when I ski, I’m not thinking of records or achievements so I would have to pick an individual moment… and the one that that sticks out in my mind is the race in Bakuriani. I had a bad start and found myself last and tailed off from the other girls, I managed to fight my way back to second, but then another small mistake and I was back in fourth again. But I didn’t give up and managed to regain all the ground again to beat Sandra Naeslund in a photo finish. It was an amazing feeling and for me that’s what ski cross is all about - fighting and strategy and never giving up!

Last year, the mixed-team racing format made its debut to the World Cup stage in Bakuriani (GEO) in form of a test event, where you managed to win, together with your team mate Jonas Lenherr. What do you think of the mixed-team event and what are your thoughts about it? Do you like it? 

The team race was good fun. It’s nice to be part of a team and to share the celebrations at the finish, but funnily enough, I actually found racing in the team event more stressful than racing individually. I felt like I really had to perform for Jonas (Lenherr) as well and that meant I put a lot more pressure on myself to do well. The responsibility of performing for others adds to the tension, but on the other side the celebrations are more fun when you can share them.

What was/ is the biggest challenge for you, when competing during a worldwide pandemic? 

Generally, I think we were very lucky in Ski Cross last winter. We managed to complete our race schedule and didn’t miss out like so many other sports did. And that is thanks to the organisation and support of the FIS and our teams. The hardest thing for me was the bubble and even on the few days off we have in the season to not be able to catch up with friends and family was hard. When I broke the WC record my mum and sister travelled to Zurich to congratulate me, but I couldn’t hug them and we could only speak from across a road… those were the toughest moments for me. 

Of course, we are now looking ahead to the kick-off of the new season with its highlight event in February 2022, the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. After such an amazing season last year, what are your goals for the upcoming one and especially in regards to the Olympics? 

My goals are the same every season - to ski the very best I can in every race and to fight to the finish line. Of course, I am not going to China to win a chocolate medal, and I would love to win another Olympic medal, but I have been in this sport long enough to know that anything can happen and the Olympics is only one day out of four years, so to achieve something there is the hardest thing in our sport. 

Can we expect another season with head-to-head duels with your probably biggest rival for many years, Sandra Naeslund (SWE)?! Is it “good” to have a rival on the circuit? And if so, how do you benefit from it?

I am sure you will find Sandra and I battling it out in many races again this year and there are a lot of other girls coming back from injury so I am looking forward to racing them again. Rivalries are great in any sport because they create interest and also push us all to work harder and do better, even if it doesn’t make it any easier for us!

What is the best part about being a ski cross athlete?

That you are never bored. For me, ski cross is the most complete sport on snow. To be successful you need everything - technique, tactics, strategy and to be creative. No two courses are ever the same and the obstacles are always different. Add to that that there are 3 other girls racing you and you don’t know what they are going to do - you have to be always alert and always thinking. No two runs are ever the same.

What would you like to see in the future of ski cross? 

Ski Cross is a show. That’s the most important thing and what the sport needs to hold onto. We need the course shapers to stay creative to imagine bigger and better courses for us to race on, that are impressive and fun for the spectators to watch, so our audiences will continue to grow. I love the technical courses which really challenge us and I love air time. So, I would like to see more big jumps and more incredible courses….

What is your favourite element to ride in ski cross course and why? 

I don’t have a particular feature which is my favourite. I like the combinations, especially when there is something new. That’s when we have to think - how do I ski this, what line should I take, what’s the best way to attack this course. That’s the best part for me (oh and being in the air!).

Name three things you never travel without on the World Cup circuit? 

I am not really someone who is superstitious, so I don’t really have anything in particular that I must travel with, apart from my obvious ski gear and passport. Having said that, I would say the most important thing is my neck scarf. I really can’t ski without it because I hate the feeling of the wind going down my neck and it distracts me! And I am always cold! I also have some battery-operated warming socks to keep my feet cozy when its cold. Finally, I always take my special sun cream with me which I wear every day, even when its cloudy. 

For sure, we can expect to see Fanny Smith on fire again this season, especially with the Olympics coming up, but also just being her usual self, fighting from top to bottom and making every heat she races in, a special one. How much will Smith add to her incredible achievements list this season?! Not long before we start to find out now! The season kick-off in Secret Garden (CHN) is slated to go down on November 27 and we are hyped!!!

You can find the full Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup calendar HERE. Stay tuned for more info on the upcoming season!

 

 
CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow Icons / Arrow / Black Grey Created with Sketch. Page 1 Created with Sketch. echllogoeps Created with Sketch. Group 18 Copy Created with Sketch. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. team-logo / WIN Created with Sketch. team-logo / PW Created with Sketch. team-logo / LOST Created with Sketch. team-logo / PL Created with Sketch. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. 7CB4E955-9512-49F4-B03B-933CF03CA2FD Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. Icons/Search/1000 F3916FC0-768E-4027-A1D5-CC66110459CF Created with sketchtool. Artboard 1 Icon / Social / Android@3x Created with Sketch. icon-dropdown icon-dropdown Created with Sketch. CB_Linked_Icon_Close CB_Linked_Icon_Close Check Check F896540F-C96F-4488-888D-5ECB022F43CE Created with sketchtool. Icons/Attachment/1000 Created with Sketch. CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow Icon / Social / iOS@3x Created with Sketch.