November 4, 2017

Marta Bassino

(info about Marta Bassino)

A good feeling on the mountain

Thomas Kieller

Photos – Copyright Alice Russolo

Marta Bassino: Italian alpine skier.

With an energetic and fluid style on the snow, Marta attacks the ski slopes, may this be in giant slalom, downhill, slalom or super-G. The Italian woman from Cueno, which is a city at the footsteps of the Alps, enjoys skiing for the sensations that the sport procures to her. Face to the wind, she is not afraid of speed. On the contrary, she likes it. Determined, she has already obtained good results including three podiums at the World Cup in giant slalom. Indeed, she excels more in this discipline where she won twice in 2013 in Passiria and Prato Nevoso in Italy. The next year, she won the European Cup at Sestrieres. Over time, her performances on the slopes have earned her the right to be awarded in 2017 with the Longines Rising Ski Stars Prize attributed to the best young athlete (under 21 years old for the women). Moreover, the Italian skier always searches to improve herself on the physical aspect and also on the technical side. During training, she works and refines the different disciplines of skiing. Decidedly, Marta knows where she is going. She is focused on her goals and we will see where it will lead her.

The written interview was done October 16, 2017. It was done in English.

Training of an alpine skier

Thomas Kieller: What are the most important aspects (physical or technical) in order to be a good competitive all-around alpine skier?

Marta Bassino: First, I need a good physical preparation because I ski at high speeds and the season is long. It’s for those reasons that during summer I spend many weeks on my physical preparation. I need strength and power but at the same time my muscles must be resistant and fast. After that, the most important thing is to be able to ski. All the physical abilities merge in just one thing meaning a balance between power and speed.

Thomas: About training in the gymnasium, what do you do to prepare yourself concerning power and strength?

Marta: In a typical week of training in summer, I usually spend three days in the gym in order to strengthen my leg muscles. I do squats with the barbell, jump squats, etc.

Thomas: For your sport, do you do some cardio exercises or is it more about muscular endurance?

Marta: I need also cardio exercises. It’s very important to have a good heart and lungs. By doing again and again exercises like biking or athletic drills on the track and field, my capabilities in cardio and my endurance improve.

Thomas: I read somewhere that you have a gymnastic background. Does it help you for your skiing and in which way?

Marta: Yes it does. I think gymnastics help me a lot because it is like the basis of everything. With my gymnastics background, I perfectly know my body and the perception of my body in space. It gave me a lot of abilities like agility but at the same time strength.

Thomas: You had your share of success in giant slalom. What do you do in training in order to be fluid on the slope?

Marta: For the giant, I need a lot of work out on the snow. So, I do many runs between the gates to find the right and good feeling.

Thomas: As a professional alpine skier, you have to perform in several events through the year (downhill, giant slalom, slalom and super giant slalom). In the off-season, how do you prepare yourself for all these disciplines?

Marta: I train on the snow a lot and I change discipline every day or every couple of days. I focus on one discipline at a time. When I do that, I’m trying to ski my best in each of them.

Thomas: Besides training on the slopes and in a gymnasium, what kind of exercises or sports you like to do?

Marta: I like tennis. I use this sport for my workout and for my preparation.

Attitude in competition

Thomas: In giant slalom and slalom, you have a light touch when you are skiing. What is your approach in those types of events? And concerning downhill and super-G, what is the attitude one must have?

Marta: In giant slalom and slalom, I need rhythm, speed of movement and I have to be aggressive as well. About downhill and super-G which require more speed, the movements are done more slowly and gradually. What I’m searching for is really the “touch on the snow” while looking for the best aerodynamic position. I think that in those two disciplines it’s also important to have courage and take the right level of risk.

Marta Bassino: Enjoying the moment after a good performance.

Progression

Thomas: The Italian skiing squad is quite competitive with currently four women in the top 20 of the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup rankings. Does this situation motivate you to do more?

Marta: Yes, we have a great team and I am so proud to be Italian. The other girls of the squad are very strong. This brings me motivation and I want to give my best every day.

Thomas: You are progressing well in the overall rankings since four years. You are now in 18th position. Are there disciplines that you want to improve more than others?

Marta: I want to improve my super-G because I like it. During the last summer, I’ve trained a lot in this discipline and I’ll try to improve my results during this season.

Thomas: Finally, what do you like so much about alpine skiing and the competitions you took part of?

Marta: I really like the feeling of freedom that I feel when I do the turns. I like also the feeling of the wind on my face and the races’ adrenaline which come along.

Thomas: Thank you Marta for sharing some information about your training. Good skiing season to you.