Alpine Skiing - Sofia Goggia: Me fearless? Everyone has fear, you have to let it drive you
Ahead of the new season Pete Sharland reports from the virtual media day conducted by Atomic with their athletes. In this article Italian skier Sofia Goggia talks about her mentality going into the new season and what fearlessness really means. Plus she tells a story from the early days of her career with Lara Gut-Behrami.
'A masterclass' - Sofia Goggia wins fourth Downhill race in a row
“Everyone has fear as a human being,” Goggia continues explaining her answer.
And fear is something that has to drive you
“And you don't have to be pull it from here or push it down from here but you have to be driven from it and to overcome and endure on your path and overcome the obstacle.
“So sometimes I have fear too For example, I remember that this year in Calgary was really icy. I can't say I was full of fear because I was not but I was a little bit like scared from this high ice because I had like a bad experience in Bansko in the same condition.
“And I didn't know how to approach it and so I decided to overcome it step by step and in the end I made it but I don't have anything special that I'm scared of.”
Goggia joked afterwards that in real life she can’t stand snakes but didn’t want to say that as it was something that is natural to be scared of.
Sofia Goggia (Credit Atomic)
Image credit: Eurosport
As she put it, “who wants to be stuck in a bathroom with 100 snakes?”
Goggia, who was speaking next to her friend Ester Ledecka, confirmed that she has had a great pre-season after the injury and she feels good to go, although she did say that you can never tell until you get onto the snow in competitive circumstances.
We will see that sight for the season-opener, with Goggia racing at Solden as she tries to continue to develop her Giant Slalom, something she calls “one of my biggest personal goals.”
Still, she’s still the Downhill expert and Goggia was typically philosophical when asked which hill she thinks is most dangerous.
“I don't know the most dangerous downhill, there is not a most dangerous downhill.
The most dangerous downhill is the one that you fear the most inside of yourself.
“So it depends from everyone.”
The best story she tells comes towards the end of the session when she is asked about her relationship with Lara Gut-Behrami. The Swiss skier had a rough couple of years after injuring her left knee in 2017 but last season was truly back to her best. Gut-Behrami, a former Atomic skier, won the Super-G globe and finished second in the Overall. But the real crowning moments came in Cortina at the World Championships where she stunned the field to take two golds, in Giant Slalom and Super-G, as well as a bronze in Downhill.
“She had a wonderful World Championships. And I was there and I said her congrats because this season, she was really unbelievable,” Goggia says of Gut-Behrami’s season.
Sofia Goggia becomes the first Italian woman to win three Downhills in a row
“And I think that she's going for the gold medal this season as a goal. And I heard that she's skiing fast, but I don't know. Summer is summer. I mean, I know she she can ski fast always also in winter, but rumours says that she's on the ball. And I believe the rumours.”
But the real treat comes before she talks about the on-snow performances of the Swiss, it’s her first response when being asked about her.
“Actually, yes, the story is a really nice one,” Goggia says smiling.
“So the skiman that I have now with atomic Babi, comes from my hometown. And at that time when I was 17, Lara used to ski on Atomic, and Babi was her skiman.
“So I was in the Europa Cup team and I was going every time to take the skis that Lara didn't use from Babi’s home.
Mikaela Shiffrin, Ester Ledecka and Sofia Goggia (Credit Atomic)
Image credit: Eurosport
“And now she’s with a competitor and now he is my skiman.
“And at that time, I had really a lot of esteem for her because she was young, she was pushing she was like, brave, she was really brave.
“When I was little, I really had a lot of esteem for her. Like she was my one of my idols. Even though my biggest was Lindsey Vonn always.”
Now Goggia races with her rivals and going into a massive season she is one the skiers that has to be considered must-see viewing. She has long-term aims on the Overall globe and will be looking to medal, at least once if not more, when Beijing rolls around. One thing’s for sure, there’ll be no holding back.