Style & Experiences

Corinne Suter: “To win, you don’t need to be special, you need to have pleasure”

Cristina D’Agostino

By Cristina D’Agostino27 février 2023

The Olympic downhill champion and bronze medalist at the recent World Ski Championships in Meribel, was in Crans-Montana for the downhill event. Corinne Suter from Schwytz, fourth in the discipline, tells us how she is tackling the rest of the season and what motivated her to return to her best shape after her spectacular crash in Cortina.

Corinne Suter is the reigning world downhill champion (Hublot)

While the organizers of the World Cup in Crans-Montana were only able to start one race, the downhill event, due to persistent fog and soft snow on Saturday, February 25, reigning World Champion Corinne Suter finished in 20th place on Sunday, February 26. On the sidelines of the competition, the 28-year-old skier met with a few media members on the invitation of her watch sponsor Hublot.

How do you feel?

I felt great during the tests, I have now recovered well. I can finally ski the way I want to, after my accident. I am always happy to come back to Crans-Montana, where it all started for me. I have great memories here. The atmosphere is very special, warm, the public is there to support us, even during the tests. It's incredible to see so many people loving this sport. There is something special in Crans-Montana, because this passion is not necessarily felt elsewhere.

Corinne Suter was in Crans-Montana this Sunday, February 26th for the downhill race (Corinne Suter)

You recently received the bronze medal at the World Championships in Meribel, is that a relief?

The bronze medal in Méribel helped me a lot to regain my confidence. Because before that, I didn't know if it was still a bit early for me to start racing again, after my fall. In downhill, you know, it's really important to be able to trust yourself 100%. When you are only at 80%, you ski a little bit on the back and you don't let the ski go. You lose a lot of time.

Skiing today is going through an uncertain period, linked to weather conditions, or even financial conditions, as in Canada, in Lake Louise, where after 40 years of organization, the people in charge are thinking of not organizing it anymore. What is your feeling? 

There are some places that are highly anticipated. This is the case in Canada, which launches the ski season. And to imagine that after 40 years it might not be organized anymore, I would be very saddened. It's also a very special place, the only place where all the skiers are in the same hotel. It's the first race of the year. We talk to each other, we share, it's also an important part of the harmony of this sport.

The Swiss watch brand Hublot has been a partner of the ski champion for two years (Hublot)

Your sponsor, the watch brand Hublot, is at your side in Crans-Montana. What is the story behind this encounter?

I always dreamed of having a collaboration with a watch brand, because I really like it. And I already liked Hublot in particular, the spirit that emanates from it, long before our partnership. I met with the marketing team and Ricardo Guadalupe (CEO of the Hublot brand), we had lunch together, and the collaboration started very naturally, two years ago. It's an important brand, international, but where everything is very relaxed and exciting at the same time. I really enjoy meeting the Hublot teams. What I like is that I can stay natural, I don't need to play a role, I can just be me, and that's important for a sportswoman.

How do you see the years to come?

I have some very interesting years ahead of me now. I was recently asked if I would participate in the World Ski Championships in Crans-Montana in 2027, it's always very difficult to say in advance, but as long as I enjoy skiing as much as I do, I'll be in every race. I don't really think about a future career, because being a top athlete takes all your energy, your head, your time. Every day of the year is high competition training, winter and summer. I also give some time a few days a year, to my sponsors, for particular actions, for example days dedicated to the young generations, with my main partner. I like the idea of giving back what I have received. And when I am in contact with the young generations of future skiers, I know what is in their head, I was the same. I remember when I was young and met Fabienne Suter or Lara Gut: I saw them as superstars, who were on TV. I wanted to be like them. And now, young people look at me the same way, as if I were someone else. But no, I am still the same, the one who dreamed of doing the exceptional.

What do you want to pass on to them?

I want to give them the same confidence, that everything is possible. You don't have to be special. The only key element is to ski with pleasure, with a smile on your face. Of course, there are very bad days, and I know what that means... But there is always a little light, even at the bottom. What helped me the most when I was injured? It was the stories of other champions, especially when Lindsey Vonn told me about her accidents, and the ability she had to always come back stronger, faster. Her book is important. She tells about her bad times too. It's a fundamental element, we have to be able to talk about it in the sports world. Because on social networks, young people have an idealized vision of sport, where the weather is always good. And the reality is not like that. 

Corinne Suter is now in 4th place in the overall downhill ranking (Corinne Suter)

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