As a ski instructor, my father was a hugely passionate skier, which is why he first put me on skis at the age of three and a half and devoted a great deal of effort to teaching me.Read More ...
I was crazy about it from the very first day and only wanted to ski more. At six years of age I contested my first race and from this moment on I wanted to be a racer.
I won a few races during my childhood and teenage years, and my two wins in the International Topolino Races were a minor milestone in my early skiing career.
Inspired by a string of good results, as a fifteen year old I was thrilled to be invited to join the South Tyrolean regional team and take part in my first FIS races.
Between the ages of 16 and 18 I earned a bit of extra money during the summer months as a bricklayer, but unfortunately the work meant that there was less time for training. Of course I didn't want to miss out on partying with my friends either, and so skiing fell by the wayside a bit, as did the good results. To get out of this dead end, at the age of 18 and without further ado, I decided to leave my beloved home and spend 100 days - one whole summer - on an alp in Switzerland (Splügenpass) working as a herdsman, before returning to the ski circuit with new strength and conviction.
On a morning I had to get out of bed very early, but despite all the hard work on the pastures I always trained very hard.
This was a turning point in my life; I came back home feeling fit, with a clear head and having rediscovered my enthusiasm for skiing. I was able to rejoin the state team and get a start in Europa Cup races, and in only my second Super G race I celebrated my first victory. As a result of the good placings, I was selected for the national B team (Europa Cup) and that season took part in three races in the World Cup. In 2009 I joined the World Cup team and qualified for the Olympic Games in Vancouver. In the following season (2011) I came second in the downhill in Chamonix (France).
2012/13 was a dream season for me, with my first World Cup victory in Bormio, a surprise win on the infamous "Streif" in Kitzbühel and a silver medal at the World Championships in Schladming. At the end of the season I finished 3rd overall in the World Cup downhill standings. These were unforgettable experiences for me and great source of satisfaction.
However this pleasure was quickly overshadowed as fate dealt a heavy blow on 21st June 2013, when my brother was killed in a motorbike accident. Life has to go on though, and by training hard I will try to do my best and stay with the frontrunners.
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