Mathilde Gremaud has already won Olympic medals three times.
Nicholas HorniRingier journalism student
At the age of just 17, freestyler Mathilde Gremaud wins her first Olympic medal. At the games in Pyeongchang, Korea, she secured the silver medal in slopestyle. Four years later she doubles in Beijing, winning bronze in Big Air and a few days later sensationally gold in Slopestyle.
When you return home in La Roche FR, there is a huge reception. The 22-year-old is welcomed and frenetically celebrated by around 1000 people and accompanied by brass band music and cowbells – Mathilde Gremaud is the star in the village. On the other side of the Röstigraben, however, it remains relatively unknown. Although sports fans and the media are interested in her after the sensational victory, the excitement is over after a short time. So Gremaud flies under the radar to this day – especially among the German-speaking Swiss population. She can live with that. “Our sport is less in the limelight than others. That’s a pity, because our sport offers many exciting personalities and is also simply fun to watch. That doesn’t bother me too much, but I hope that the sport will develop a bit more. When the results come, the spotlight comes too.”
However, Gremaud is not 100% happy with the lack of headlights. “It is also symbolic that I still have to explain to many people that I also speak German. I found that frustrating because I went to high school in Engelberg.”
Before and after Olympic gold came a hole
Even if Gremaud shows her tricks a little off the spotlight in German-speaking Switzerland – she can make a living from her hobby. Mainly thanks to the excellent performances at the Olympic Games. For Gremaud, however, this is not the main reason why she pursues skiing: “It’s fun when you can earn money with your passion. But I don’t do it all to make money, but because I think it’s cool.” But the 22-year-old often didn’t have fun last year – despite, or precisely because of, the Olympic medal in Beijing. Shortly before the games in China, she gets a concussion, just about makes the comeback – and then sensationally wins bronze in the Big Air. But then the emotional hole follows: “I was emotionally exhausted. I just wanted to go home to my family.”
The hole also accompanies them through the summer. If the weather is right and the training is good, the woman from Friborg is happy too. If the sky is cloudy, so is their mood. The roller coaster ride is wearing on Gremaud. Although she flies onto the Big Air podium at the season opener in Chur, she has to take a break after that. Time for yourself to come back stronger.
X Games, ski holidays, World Cup
This is her now. In Laax, she qualified fourth for the slopestyle final, which then had to be canceled due to the weather. Now for the X Games. To where she has already won three golds, three silvers and one bronze.
There, where she has already won everything, she wants to gather new strength to finally clear up at the World Cup. “I was there three times, but I was only able to win a medal once. The World Cup is my big goal.”
Now the X Games come first. Then we go on a skiing holiday to Japan. Just to have fun skiing again – and then perhaps recover to get your first World Cup victory?
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