Before Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter collected the first World Cup victory of her career last season, she had finished as runner-up eight times. As one can imagine, finally winning a World Cup race meant a lot to the 28-year-old slalom specialist. Hansdotter recently answered some questions for FIS Alpine about the relief of her first victory, her intention of improving in GS, how she spent her summer, and her plans to give Mikaela Shiffrin a run for her money in the upcoming season.
It has been a fantastic season for you, achieving your first victory and finishing second in the slalom standings, are you satisfied with it or were you hoping for even more?
I am super happy with last season. To win my first World Cup was incredibly fun and cool. I am also very pleased with my second place in the slalom cup, I showed stable and good skiing during the whole season and ended up finishing in the top 10 in all the slalom competitions and earning four podium finishes.
You held the odd record of most second places in World Cup history without a victory, finishing in second 8 times before finally winning a race. Was proving you can be the fastest when you finally won last year in Kranjska Gora a relief?
I’ve always known that I have the potential to win, but it is clear that with so many second places I was incredibly happy to finally win my first World Cup race.
Despite Anja Paerson’s retirement, the Swedish ladies team has continued to achieve great results and is getting stronger with each season. How important is it for you to be surrounded by strong teammates and is there some internal competition or is it just an additional motivating factor?
I’m incredibly happy that I have my amazing teammates. We have a good team atmosphere and on training camps it is great to be with so many fast girls, we encourage each other.
Slalom is your strongest discipline but in 2012 you were able to ski into the top 10 in GS a few times, will GS be a focus for the future or will slalom remain a priority?
Last year I had a lot of DNFs in giant slalom and that was not so fun, but I hope next year will be better. Of course I will focus on both slalom and giant slalom for next season as well.
What have you been up to so far this summer and what are your plans between now and the start of the season?
I have had a lovely summer at home, and my boyfriend and I bought a house last fall, so this is the first summer we are spending here. We have been out in the sun and fixed a lot in the garden. I started with summer training almost right after the season so I actually just spent the last week on Cyprus. It’s a last chance to energize a little more before we kick off with skiing again in early August.
Mikaela Shiffrin has been dominating the slalom standings in the past two seasons. In your opinion, what makes this young skier such a strong competitor? What do you think it’s going to take to beat her next season?
Yes, she has really impressed with awesome skiing. We’ll think of something good in the fall so we can give her a real match next season.
Interview courtesy of FIS Alpine