Italian Samuel Costa has a fantastic season to look back to and struggles with inexplicable pain in his knee to contend with for now. In this TUESDAY TALK, the 24-year-old looks back on his first podium results and gives updates on his current situation.
If you’re being asked about your highlights of the season 2016/17, the answer will surely be the podium places in Seefeld. How important was this milestone of first podium for you (especially because it was two back to back ones) and which other moments were important to you in the past winter?
Samuel Costa: Seefeld was the proof that I am on the right way. Straight after that, with my knee injury, I had a difficult time. During the World Championships in Lahti and the end of the season I realised how important it is to keep a relax and empty mind to be able to get a good result. Hopefully I can now manage this situation in a better way in the future.
In the past winter, you were the best athlete of your team, looking at the results. Does this also mean, you share the role of the team leader with Alessandro Pittin?
Costa: To be honest, I don’t care so much who is the best athlete in our team. Alessandro had a very hard period, which is hopefully behind him. I hope with my results, he doesn’t feel so much pressure anymore and can follow his way back to the top without any stress.
It could be heard that you had problems with your knee during the last training camp. How is the situation at the moment?
Costa: The last two years have been very hard for me because I feel pain in my knee very often and that means I can not do the training as I want do do it. Our team of physiotherapists try to find out why my knee has so much problems. So by the way, if someone has a new knee for me, please let me know! (laughs)
What’s on schedule next for the Italian team and will you be able to train with them or do you have your separate program for now?
Costa: I was not in Stams with my teammates because the only training I could do was swimming. At the moment, it’s difficult to know what my plans for the future are. It would be nice to be healthy again and train with my teammates. I will be in Predazzo for the next training camp and after that we go to Courchevel and Oberstdorf.
In early June, usually the first endurance tests (VO2max-tests) are on schedule. Can you explain why these tests are important for the season preparation?
Costa: Yes, after few years we have done the endurance test in Rovereto (Cerism) again. We will do it three times this summer, so we can see how the training influences our bodies. Usually, I don’t had very good VO2max results but this test was a good one. Now it’s time to take it from here and try and improve my shape.
At the end, the obligatory question: which goals have you picked for the next season?
Costa: My goal was, is and will always be to win. But right now my biggest dream is to get pain-free again.