Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
New Red Bull Crashed Ice star opens up about her skating past and future goals.
Anaïs Morand was an ice skating prodigy who represented Switzerland in the Vancouver Winter Games eight years ago, however she is lining up in an altogether different competition now in Finland.
The 24-year-old has revelled in her ice cross downhill switch to Red Bull Crashed Ice with her Riders Cup win on home ice in Crans-Montana followed by a hard-fought sixth place in Saint Paul.
We caught up with Morand this week in Jyväskylä, here is what she had to say:
You figure skated gracefully mainly as a pair with Timothy Leemann and Antoine Dorsaz, so how does it compare to flying down the ice solo now in such a chaotic event as Crashed Ice?
It’s very different of course. In ice skating you have to make everything look nice, you have to smile and be graceful. In ice cross downhill it’s not about making everything look nice, but about getting down the track as fast as possible. Actually, I found ice skating harder on the body sometimes. When I fell, I didn’t have all the padding and protection that I do in ice cross downhill, and sometimes I would be falling from two metres high if my partner dropped me.
How difficult was the transition? Did it take a lot of getting used to?
Yes, it definitely took some time getting used to it. In my first race I used my ice hockey skates, which are not ideal for this sport. After a few races though it started to come naturally and I learned how to deal with the obstacles.
Competing in huge events at such a young age, were you afraid by how big the Winter Games were in Vancouver or did you just skate for fun without fear or consequence?
It was mostly fun, with a little fear. I think that because I was skating with a partner and not alone, it helped with the fear. I knew there was someone with me and that eased the pressure on me.
What did you learn from competing in Vancouver?
I didn’t let the stress of performing get to me, and I learned how to skate in front of a huge crowd. It has really helped me because everything else is less pressure than competing in the Winter Games.
How much fun was it choosing which song to skate along to having picked the likes of Queen, Cirque du Soleil and James Bond tunes?
That was really fun. We got to pick a lot of different songs and different styles. Our coach helped us pick the ones that he thought would be good for the judges and the public. It was really cool competing with songs.
With Switzerland’s great history in winter sport events, how cool is it to represent your country in such a fast growing sport like ice cross downhill?
It’s great, especially because I’m the first Swiss woman to compete in ice cross downhill. Switzerland has so many winter sports and I think one day ice cross downhill will be a big one too.
Your reaction to your home Crans-Montana Riders Cup victory and Saint Paul performance was brilliant. Are you as bubbly in daily life?
Oh yes, I just let my emotions out at the finish line. I’m not shy, and probably even more bubbly in daily life.
What do you do to relax in your time away from training and events?
I’m a figure skating coach, so I work a lot. But when I’m not on the ice, I like to be in the water! I try to go to the spa as much as I can.
Now you have tasted success in this sport, what targets have you set yourself for this season and longer term in Red Bull Crashed Ice?
Well I finished sixth in Saint Paul, so I’m hoping at least to be in the top six at the end of the season. I would like to make it to maybe one podium this season too. In the future, my dream is, of course, to be world champion one day.
With the Winter Games coming up, will there be a little part of you itching to skate in PyeongChang?
When I watch I will imagine myself there, but it doesn’t make me sad. I’ve been there and had that amazing experience, and now my dream is for ice cross downhill to be a Winter Games sport.
Do you have any support from friends or family at the events?
Well I have my boyfriend, Kevin Sciboz, who I met in this sport. He’s one of the athletes in the men’s competition, and so we travel together and give each other support at the races.
Watch Red Bull Crashed Ice on Red Bull TV HERE.