Professional skier Marco Odermatt (20) from the canton of Nidwalden is the first Swiss in the alpine skiing category to be awarded a contract from Red Bull: Odermatt is starting the 2018/19 World Cup season with the official Red Bull drinking bottle

Professional skier Marco Odermatt (20) from the canton of Nidwalden is the first Swiss in the alpine skiing category to be awarded a contract from Red Bull: Odermatt is starting the 2018/19 World Cup season with the official Red Bull drinking bottle

Marco, you are the first Swiss alpine skier to be awarded an athlete contract from Red Bull. How do you feel?

Marco Odermatt: "I'm feeling really good; thanks to the professional process in place at Red Bull, I have met various decision-makers in Switzerland as well as Austria. I've spoken with Robert Trenkwalder, Head of Athletes Special Projects, five times now and he really put me through my paces. Conversely, I was able to ask very open questions during these meetings about Red Bull's objectives in the World Cup and the opportunities available as part of a partnership". 

So you were really grilled in these talks?

"They definitely asked me the right questions – some of them tricky ones – about character, attitude and commitment. I was impressed by the fact that, alongside sporting aspects, the focus was also on me as a person and my environment. This allowed me to talk about a variety of things, such as my family, my ski brand Stöckli, my relationship with Swiss Ski and my management team. Everything had to be a good fit for Red Bull. Red Bull wants to support young, motivated racers who are ideally suited to Red Bull, willing to work and have a good group of people around them".

How did everything get off the ground with Red Bull?

"With my great results over the past few years, I definitely did my bit in getting the attention of some major brands – including Red Bull. I was also fortunate that my manager, Michael Schiendorfer, badgered away for two years cultivating contacts with brands in the World Cup, such as Red Bull, in a very calm and respectable way. With regular and open communication, a good, trusting relationship was built with various major brands, including Red Bull. For instance, Red Bull was always informed of my form and fitness. They increasingly took more notice of me and were always in the picture: in good times and bad. Communicating openly paid off".

Staying with the good times... You had a truly incredible season: five Junior World Champion titles, seven top-four European Cup finishes in the giant slalom, a brilliant World Cup final in Are and finally two Swiss Champion titles in the elite category in the downhill and super-G events.

What can we expect from you in the upcoming World Cup season?

"That I will give my absolute best in every training session and every race. I know that it's still a big step towards becoming established in the World Cup. Yet it would also be wrong of me not to think that I can do it – step by step. My good results at the end of last season no longer count for anything. But they do give me some assurance that I am going in the right direction. My way of thinking is that I have done lots of things right in the past, but I can learn something new and important every day. I am well aware that I still have lots to learn!

I can definitely count on my new partner, Red Bull, in this regard. Red Bull offers athletes so much more than financial support – particularly in the sports domain. Specialists from Red Bull are always on hand whenever I need help and advice, for instance, and I can now also make use of various training opportunities at the in-house centre in Salzburg, Austria. Such opportunities can play a major role in my future development. World Cup greats such as Marcel Hirscher, Lindsey Vonn and Aksel Svindal, who are supported by Red Bull as well, also train at the centre".

Red Bull is a huge name on the ski circuit. Does Red Bull give you wings?

Even though I might feel like I have wings to some extent, I will always stay firmly on the ground. I have no reason to take off. But, as I said before, I will continue to do my absolute best in every training session and race! And if I have something to celebrate, then I will definitely be very happy to drink a toast with a glass of Red Bull. And that's the way it's going to stay".

 

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