March 17, 2019. Giant of the Sold Final. The sun consumed the Andorran trail for three good hours, ending the first race. More than a skid to go. Almost unknown 17 years old. Alice Robinson owes her presence to the World Junior Champion title she won last month. Nine days before he scored his first World Cup points, he finished 16th at the Czech Republic’s Spindlerove Milin.
Already no one suspected the smoking fire under their skis. This explains the green color in the second intermediate. The first lightning. Newcomer Michael Schiffrin caught a part of the 31st. She leaves time downstairs, but the surprise is total when she crosses the finish line. Round third time. An achievement. Saff will not fall again during the second. Conversely: it ignores the pressure to climb a row and climb to 2nd place. Alice Robinson makes a sensational entry into the Champions Table as she gets stuck on stage between two queens Schiffrin and Petra Vlova for the round. Salten will then secure the next winter with two wins in the Cranska Cora, which in 2013 became the junior winner of Schiffrin’s first round.
His priority is astonishing, but it is nothing compared to the zeal with which his nation is raised. New Gelander. Not to mention his hometown Sydney. But on earth this Australian girl has become the new wonder of alpine skiing, a sport that is practiced all over the world.
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“My mother grew up on a farm in the countryside, Alice Robinson who gave us an interview before the Song-Anton Super-G last Saturday. My father is from Brisbane, Queensland. I don’t think they saw a scales until they were 18 years old! ” But they love games. A lot. Field hockey especially for Sarah. David Rugby. For their vacation, they choose a 2.5-hour flight from Sydney between the lakes and mountains to Queenstown, a major tourist village in New Zealand.
It is a paradise for outdoor sports. Peter Jackson chose to film The Lords of the Rings. The couple loves her. Dad works in finance: luckily, he can live anywhere. So the family moved to Queenstown. Alice, then the second of three siblings, was 4 years old at the time. Robinson’s house is located ten minutes from the slopes of Coronet Peak, one of the four surrounding resorts. Here it is one of the rare forts for skiing in the Southern Hemisphere.
We had to create our own way, my family and I.
Alice has been walking since she was 9 months old and has been touching everything since she was little. “Soccer”, netball, horseback riding. But snow occupies its own space. His eye is attracted to skaters. She looks beautiful in clothes. “I think I always wanted to be a skier. I don’t know what my future will be like, but what I wanted was skiing. So I stopped other games to dedicate it.“
“It is clear that this dream is not common in New Zealand, She agrees. But in Queenstown, there are plenty of young people skiing and shopping. The problem is, there really isn’t a national team that can be trusted to reach the highest level. Very difficult to drill. Winter is low here (June to October), you have to go to Europe regularly, up to six months of the year, it is very expensive. Many end up throwing in the towel. We had to create our own way, my family and myI am. “
At the age of 12, fully supported by his parents and thanks to fundraising, he did his first training camp abroad, for two full months in the United States. At the age of 15, he took part in his first European race in Slovenia. Then a month after his 16th birthday, he discovered the World Cup on January 6, 2018 in Cranca Cora. “That day it was so scary. In this world of Europeans I felt like a ‘foreigner’. I was all alone, so young, I didn’t know any competitors. A young Austrian woman surrounded by a group of experienced little girls is no stranger. I have nothing to believe. Everything is new. I’m the only new Gelander, from the other side of the world. “
Over time, she manages to turn this unity into a source of encouragement. “I ended up telling myself : ‘But why couldn’t a woman from the Southern Hemisphere be a part of this world?’ Today, I feel fully integrated into this community. Many people tell me that he thinks I am as cool as New Zealand! “
He met Tessa Worley, whose father was Australian. “Tessa is so beautiful, she told me she was the first to slide in New Zealand. We talked a lot about our Australian appearance. Somehow it inspired me that a woman from the Southern Hemisphere might have succeeded.“
Eclipse by All Blocks
Coronet Peak is a regular destination for American skaters and they have plenty to train for in the summer. As a child, Alice Lindsay remembers von, Bot Miller or Ted Ligetti injuring her own tracks. An interesting paradox is rubbing the shoulders in the flesh without being able to find them in the winter in front of the TV. “In New Zealand, skiing has no weight against rugby, which is No. 1, and cricket. The World Cup races have not been aired on any channel and they are still there. So I identified more with the Americans who had the opportunity to meet us than with the Europeans.”
Coincidentally, the All Blacks hid their first World Cup victory on October 26, 2019 in Solton. It has been two hours since the country mourned the defeat of the rugby players against England in the World Cup semi-finals when Alice Robinson became the first “Kiwi” to win the round after Claudia Rickler in 1997 (and the third in the story after Annelys Gopher). “It is clear that my success went unnoticed ! But when I got home two days after finishing my year in high school (She is no longer studying, author’s note), The reception from my family, friends and the whole of Queenstown was great. Anyway I had a lot of media demands… but the main thing was to fail in rugby!“
Established in the best of today, he judges that he is lucky. “It helped me a lot to progress so quickly between youth racing and the top 15 places in the world. I was well surrounded and had coaches who guided me well (Tim Cafe and now Chris Knight, Lindsay Vaughan’s former coach, New Zealander, set up the International Ski Racing Academy, a structure based on the Val de Basa, which unites women mainly from non-traditional skiing nations). When you are in New Zealand, you do not have time to create. But I was lucky that everything went so fast. My stage in Andorra allowed me to find sponsors, and then the success at Solden made my position comfortable. In 6 months, I went from one to everything. But without results, you have to pay for everything alone, which is really very expensive. For example, you cannot train “for free” like the Austrian or French teams. We can’t go home, we’re always on the road. Sometimes some teams allow me to train with them. But there may be denials.”Air Tickets, Trainers, Hotels, Equipment. Alice Robinson says she meets 70% of the costs of her career as a skier, with 30% coming from the New Zealand Snow Sports Federation.
Like any skierHis ambition is to one day conquer the big world. On December 20, Val de Iser (21st) scored his first points in the Super-G, the first in history to speed up a new gelander. “I still have a long way to go before I can claim it. I need to find consistency.“The Olympics he found in Pyongyang (35th behind the Giants) are one of his special goals. Her teammate Annelys Koperker has already won a medal, the first for her country (2nd in slalom at the 1992 Olympics in Albert). But New Zealand never won gold at the Winter Olympics. “This may be my biggest dream, it will be very special for the country. The Olympic race is, with us, the only chance we have to see on TV. Winning a world is more rewarding in person, but here it is not talking to people. A gold medal …”
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