Sweden’s World Cup veteran Andre Myhrer is going into his 13th World Cup season with a lot of confidence thanks to a strong 2015-16 season. The tech skier, who has started in 194 World Cups and earned 22 podiums, is aiming for a World Championship medal next season. Discover what this passionate skier has to say about the past and the future in this interview by the FIS Communications team.
Congrats! You are back on the top in the slalom rankings: fourth place in the final standings with a win and a podium this season. I bet you’ve been waiting for this since the 2012-13 season. How does it feel to look back on a successful season?
Of course, I’m very pleased with my fourth place in the standings. I believe it’s the third best season in my career. Considering I was 22nd on the list before we raced in Japan, I can’t be anything, but happy. However, I am aiming higher and will try my best to turn that fourth place into something better next season.
You started the season with three DNFs in slalom and had one more in Schladming. What was the problem in those races? What was missing?
I didn’t really get everything to work the way I wanted it to at the beginning of the season, but I kept fighting together with Head, my service guy Tomas and our coaches, and it felt like we found something in the setup just before the race in Japan and from there on, it was just working out.
You’re becoming kind of a specialist of parallel races with a second place at the City Event in Stockholm and a third place at the Parallel Giant Slalom in Alta Badia. What does it take to be a good parallel athlete? What makes you so good at it?
I skied a lot of parallel races since I was young, and I know I am fast in parallel with the SL skis, but the GS parallel in Alta Badia was a surprise also for me. I don’t know why I am good at it, I just love the kick of adrenaline of racing against someone at the same time on your side. You have to be brutal when you ski parallel, and search for those spots in the course where you can gain speed and I believe I am pretty good at that, so maybe that’s an explanation.
The Team Event will become an Olympic discipline in 2018. What do you think of these new parallel formats? Is this the future of the alpine World Cup?
I love it. I think it’s a nice complement to all the other disciplines and I am certain it will benefit the sport. By staging these events in cities, like we did in Stockholm last season, we can bring our sport closer to the people and attract a bigger and wider crowd. Why not try to make 4-6 races, turn it into its own discipline and let us ski for a globe in parallel as well? That way, you could end the discussion if we should award SL or GS points. You could also let more racers compete and maybe have kind of a qualification beforehand, so that the event itself doesn’t get too long.
You already have an Olympic medal, but you didn’t claim a podium spot at World Championships yet. The St. Moritz course suits you since you won the slalom there at the World Cup Finals. What about St. Moritz 2017?
Yes, I miss a World Championship medal and I hope, of course, to repeat the achievement from the Finals. It is a hill that suits me well. I raced my first World Championships in St. Moritz in 2003, so this will be my eighth try for a podium spot. I hope I will be able to go home with a medal this time.
Tell us about your summer plans. Are you training together with the Swedish team, or doing dryland on your own? When and where are you getting back on skis? What will the main focus be on?
I didn’t have so much planned for the summer besides becoming a dad. It’s nice to be home and spend time with the family after a long season on the road. So I’m doing all my summer training at home alone without the guys in the team. But it’s kind of nice to keep the distance for a while. In a couple of weeks, we are heading to Zermatt for our first camp and from then on, we will see each other every day all winter long anyway.
This summer, you became a dad for the second time. Congratulations! How hard is it to keep the focus on skiing when the family is growing? How do you handle the career vs family balance?
Thank you! The focus has shifted slightly over the last three years, but in a good way. Too much focus on one thing is not good either, and I believe I found a good balance between being a professional ski racer and a professional dad.
Release courtesy of FIS