New Zealand ski racer Alice Robinson has been crowned Junior World Champion in Giant Slalom.
The seventeen-year-old from Wakatipu High School in Queenstown went in to Tuesday night’s race at the Alpine World Junior Ski Championships in Val di Fassa, Italy as the world number one U18 racer for ladies’ GS. This is the first time a New Zealander has won a Junior World title in alpine ski racing.
“Winning is incredible,” said Robinson. “I arrived in Val di Fassa with some good results in my last races and a good experience at the World Championships in Are, but I knew that there were some really strong athletes here. I tried to stay focused and to ski to the best of my ability. Being able to win in the first race at the Junior World Championships is really incredible.”
Robinson has had a strong build up to the Junior World Championships with a win and a second-place finish at European Cup Giant Slaloms in Berchtesgaden, Germany on 9 and 10 February, followed by a 17th place finish at the senior World Championships in Are, Sweden last week.
Sitting in second place after run one, 0.9s behind Slovenian Meta Hrovat, Robinson recorded the fastest time on run two to take the win by 1.06s. A fall from Hrovat put her out of the medals, opening the way for Swiss skier Camille Rast to take the silver medal, and Norway’s Kaja Norbye the bronze.
Robinson will be back in the start gate tonight (NZT) for the Junior World Championship Slalom, along with team mate Amelia Gillard. Gillard finished 51st in the GS.
As Junior World Champion, Robinson has also earned the opportunity to compete at the World Cup finals in Andorra on 17 March.
Alice Robinson Q and A on the eve of the Junior World Cup
European You Tube channel Ski Online interviewed Alice on the mountain on the eve of the Junior World Cup this week:
How did you start skiing?
I started skiing in Queenstown back home. The mountain is a 10-minute drive from where I live, so I just started skiing up on the mountain there in the weekends.
Do you have any family that ski?
They ski but they didn’t really grow up skiing, they grew up in hot climates so they didn’t really ski that much. But when we moved to Queenstown everyone got into it.
Are you going to school in New Zealand, or how are you managing online school and ski racing?
I just go school at the local high school in Queenstown and they are really relaxed and help me out and do stuff while I am there. Then when I am not there I just focus on skiing and then when I get back I focus on school and catch-up.
When you travel, what is your team like? Are you coaching with your mum and dad or with your coach?
At the moment I am travelling with another team of girls and when I go to races I travel with them. There is another Kiwi girl who goes to most of the world cups as well.
What is your target in ski racing?
Probably to be top three in the World Cup.
What do you need to get there?
Just to work hard and keep pushing.
Have you had any injuries?
I have been safe on injuries so far – touch wood. I haven’t had any big problems like that so hopefully it continues!
Do you feel homesick, when you are so far away from home for most of the year?
Not really. I love home, but it is good to get out of New Zealand for a bit. And this year I am not really home for that long, about three months so it is not too bad.
Do you ski all-year round? Because when you are here you miss summer-time in New Zealand and then you go home and it is winter again?
My season this year in Europe, in the Northern Hemisphere, is only three months. Then I will probably only ski three months. And winters in New Zealand are not really like winters in Europe. It is not as cold and there is no snow in the towns, it is just on the mountains, so it is not too bad!
Thank you, I wish you all the best for the juniors.
Watch the full interview here:
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