Tina Maze takes her chances in five disciplines in Sochi
Slovenia’s Tina Maze, 30, won two silver Olympic medals in Vancouver in 2010 and enjoyed a historic World Cup Campaign in 2013, reaching the podium a record 24 times while accruing more points in a season than any other skier in history.
“You need to be a good athlete, you need to be strong in your head, and you need to be sensible. There are many skiers who do just the one discipline and for them it's much more repetitive than for me. You need many qualities to be an all-rounder. To switch between one discipline and another is not easy mentally. Slalom, with all the turns, is tough physically, while downhill is all about feeling and speed and courage.”
“I've had the same pre-race ritual for many years. I just like to focus on warming up my body and my muscles. We do so many runs in training that by the time the races start you just go with the flow; you let yourself go, trust your body and not think too much.”
“I love music and I like to motivate myself through it. It gives me a special energy. I love it when we have music around the events - that's the best thing, to put on a show. Right now I'm listening to a lot of Italian music, but some of my other favourites are Queen, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.”
“Away from competition I like to catch up on my sleep, relax between races and recover. I like to go to the beach and enjoy windsurfing, beach volleyball and all beach sports. But I wouldn't be as good at any other sport, so I think I'll stick with skiing as far as the Olympic Games are concerned!”
“You can follow me on Facebook, where I message a lot. I think I would write even if I weren't a successful skier. Writing is important; it's a good way to speak to yourself.”
“The hips get the most pressure. The whole body is working a lot, but sometimes the slope is bumpy and the hips have to support you through the turns.”
“This year, at the World Championships in Schladming, I won one gold medal but I missed two good chances to win others. I've been working hard on my skiing and hopefully I'll arrive at the Games in Sochi in good shape and this time take my chances in all five disciplines. “
“Skiing is a sport that requires many different skills. There's more movement and sensibility, or 'feeling', than in some other sports. I know many good musicians who are good skiers, for example - they have a good feeling for the skis - and many top skiers are also musicians. Skiing is like poetry sometimes. It's a rough yet at the same time a very sensitive sport.”
“Skiing seems like an easy sport, but actually it puts a lot of pressure on your whole body, especially in the turns. It requires a lot of physical training. I'm aiming to have the same physical conditioning as a top sprinter such as Usain Bolt.”
“We need many pieces of equipment - that's the toughest part of the sport. Right now, where I'm training, I have 50 pairs of skis with me. Then there is all the winter clothes and the boots - I carry 800kg of baggage around with me! I'm lucky because now I have a team that carries it around for me, but it wasn't like that when I started out.”
Follow Tina Maze on the Athletes' Hub.