Please introduce yourself
My name is Mathilde Gremaud, I am 20 years old, I live in La Roche, a little village in Switzerland where I can ski, bike, and go to the lake all at once! I was born there. I have always loved to play around and do kind of extreme sports. I was always outside and spend so many hours hitting that little tube I had in my backyard during the winters.
When did you start skiing and were you always skiing in the parks?
I started when I was 2. We don’t have a park in my home resort but we used to build jumps with our avalanche shovels on the side of the slopes. I maybe did my first frontflip around 11-12. I went into the park with my cousin for the first time around the same age and then every time I was skiing somewhere there was a park I would always go and hit what I could a few times while my parents were waiting and watching. I didn’t realize about the talent I guess, I just loved to do it so I kept doing it :)
When was the time that you decided you want to go for Freeski contests on a higher level?
Actually I didn’t decide. I have always loved competition at all levels and in everything I do. So when I did my first contest, I liked it and I just did more. It more or less came naturally.
You became the youngest Olympic medallist in Freestyle skiing, what does it do with a young woman to go to the Olympics and knowing you are a favorite for a medal?
Hmm, it is hard to tell, I didn’t think about the competition until the last second, as weird as it seems haha. But since I was injured and rehabbing until the last week before, I hadn’t the biggest expectation. I was just so happy to be there and have a chance to take part in this special event after so much uncertainty due to my surgery. When I landed my qualification run and I was feeling good and confident then I realized everything was possible and I was just going to enjoy the moment and see where it would bring me.
Can you tell us more about the whole Olympic experience, what it is like to be there?
It was pretty fun. We had so much fun with our team and all the other freestylers we knew. I met a few other swiss athletes I didn’t know at all before which was very cool too. We watched a few other competitions, laughed a lot and yeah the whole thing was just cool.
What was your first big kicker trick and what is now your favorite big kicker trick in Slopestyle?
My first big kicker trick was the Unat Rodeo 9 and my favorite to do in slopestyle now is the switch double cork 10.
Could you explain to us, the road to learn a new trick on a big kicker, when does an idea start, do you train as well on a trampoline, how long does it take to get such a new trick skilled?
I think the first step is to evaluate what you think you can do next and what would be the most intelligent idea I would say. So a mix between your capacity and what you want/need to add to your banger tricks. I watch a lot of videos of what it looks like, I visualize it a lot, and I go step by step on snow, you start with the cork 7 if you want to go dub cork 10, start with switch cork 9 if you want to go switch 12, etc. Sometimes on the trampoline, sometimes on the bag or sometimes directly on snow if I feel good. For example, the switch 10 I tried, I first tried it on snow, and I worked on my double 12 on a bag, but only after I had tried it on snow already.
How was your 2020 season?
I had a great season! I achieved most of my goals, with some ups and downs but still pretty good. Now having it cut short bummed me out. Springtime is sick for skiing and progression, but I don’t want to complain as I finished it in one piece and healthy.
The level of riders was never so high, in every competition you have at least 8 women who can go for the gold, can you explain why there is such a big group of medal candidates and will the group only get bigger the coming years with new super talents coming up?
I can’t explain it. Of course, a lot of us can go for gold, but it’s everyone’s goal, I mean everyone is progressing. So I don’t see it as an ever high level, but more so that everyone is getting better pretty much at the same time. I think most of the competition you can still guess a top 5 that will always be successful. The group will not get bigger, it is just the people inside of it will change. I hope this makes sense.
In 2 years we have a new Olympic event, are you already busy with that event, the road to, what new tricks you have to stomp to get a medal?
I am naturally thinking about it, but not as the event especially, but more as the deadline I have for myself to learn the tricks I have in mind. I see it more as a good opportunity to try to higher up my comfort zone. I don’t know what I will need. Probably two doubles in a single slopestyle run but it is hard to know what the others are working on or have in mind. I will just give my best and keep having fun!
Which new tricks do you think will be stomped by you ladies in Big Air and Slopestyle the coming two years?
I think everyone is going to go for the switch dub 10 and forward 10-12, and some girls will slowly but surely go for more spins like switch 12 or forward 14.
Do you think new inventions to make your ski’s and bindings better will come in the next two years?
No, I don’t think so. it’s hard for me to think of something better or different and what we are using right now haha. But who knows, some people have crazy ideas, hahaha
What would you like to say to young girls who have a dream to become a pro freeskier?
I think the usual if it’s your dream, work towards it to make it your reality! It’s easy for some, harder for other ones, but I think hard work pays off just as much of not more than talent