The Swede with the rasta
hairstyle is doubtless one of the most handsome riders. With his
legendary telemarksyle he inspires his spectactors. He developed a
completely exeptional style with his bandeaus and bonnets in his
leisure time. Kaj Zackrisson is a whiz with special merits. One who
gets known to him, learns about his likeable, polite manner.
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I always like joking around.
I love my way of live and I am
having a lot of fun.
Sportheute: Is skiing your only sport or do
you do another sport for example in summer?
Kaj Zackrisson: I go mountainbiking, jogging, I
do motocross and a lot more.
Sportheute: How did you become a
Kaj Zackrisson: My mother was in the
nationalteam of skiers of Sweden. She was later my coach, my teacher
and I decided, that I also want to be a professional skier. But one
day, I didn't like the usual skiing anymore, and I decided not to
make any skiraces anymore.
Sportheute: What did your mother think
Kaj Zackrisson: She agreed to that. She knew that
liberty and skiing was my life. But sometimes she
is a bit afraid that something could happen to me. Especially when I
go to Alaska, but she knows that I need that – it’s my life
His charisma and his
manner is like a brand.|
Without skiing, I’d see
no sense in life.
Sportheute: How does your future look
Kaj Zackrisson: Oh! Of course skiing. I
created a production of skiing caps with my friend. I hope we can
earn enough to life with that later.
Sportheute:Do you also want to have a
family in the future?
Kaj Zackrisson: Yes, of course!
Sportheute: You became a
professional skier. What do your old friends think about that?
Kaj Zackrisson: When I started eight
years ago, they thought I was a little bit crazy. But now they can
see where I got and they think of it as a great thing.
What’s your mark? What
does charactarize Kaj Zackrisson?
Kaj Zackrisson: I love living, I
love laughing, and skiing is my life.
Sportheute: Where do your
competitions or scenes for your movies take place?
Kaj Zackrisson:Everywhere on the
world. I have an appartement in Sweden, in Norway and in Chamonix. I
work in Norway, France, in Alaska and in Japan.
Sportheute: What do you do In Japan?
Kaj Zackrisson: There is great deep
powder snow and there are a lot of competitions. This winter, Japan
and Canada had great snow conditions. Japan has great and a lot snow.
Sportheute:Before you ride
downhill, do you have to make an effort or do you just go?
Kaj Zackrisson: Looking at the
mountain and the run from below is also part of a good preparation. I
also choose my line from below. When I am standing at the start, I
let the line go through my head again and then I go.
Sportheute: Can you always be
sure that you success in doing the downhill as you have planned, or
are there some doubts?
Kaj Zackrisson: When you are
standing there at the start, you have to be confident, you absolutely
need confidence in your skills. Of course there are always things you
can’t influence like avalanches, and there is always a chance that
you miss your line, but when you jump, you must know where you land
and that you can land there. I have to say that I am a bit nervous at
the start, I have great respect for nature and I do not run down just
It is my ninth
season, so I do have some experience. With it, I can be quite sure
about my guesses. I have to say that in the earlier seasons, I did a
lot of things in an American TV production, which were quite
dangerous and risky.
Sportheute:When do you stop skiing?
Kaj Zackrisson:(laughing) Not yet. I really enjoy it.
But if we do have success with our company, I can
imagine that I would be a bit less on my skies.
Sportheute: How do you like
Kaj Zackrisson: It’s a beautiful
country, but a little bit linearly.
Sportheute: Do you enjoy skiing in
such a country?
Kaj Zackrisson:I have a lot of good
friends in Switzerland and I enjoy my time with them. I also like
skiing here. Great mountains, sun, what else do you wish for?
Sportheute: One can tell by the
look that you are a successful man. Was that always like that or did
you have to fight for your success?
Kaj Zackrisson: There were a lot of
people who threw obstacles in my way, who laughed at me, that I did
not continue school. It was difficult to tell those people, that I
knew from when I was seven, that my life was skiing. For me this was
always clear. But in the end, I could show them that one can be
successful by skiing, if he just wants to. I was always positive
about my doing.
Sportheute: How did you become a professional?
Mitch Tolderer: I’m
riding since the age of 12. I competed in every discipline, but then freeriding
and boardercross came up. I went to a race, where I should make the prerun, but
because someone of the competitors could not come, I took his place and so I
came to this discipline. And I somehow was caught by freeriding. But in fact,
competitions reflect only a small part, the mainparts are photographing and
Sportheute: Do you also test new
Mitch Tolderer: Yes I do, but only about one
month a year. Mainly I perform for films or photos. So this competition is a
little bit of variety. Its great to come together with the world’s best riders
and I feel honoured to be a part of the Big Mountain Pro. But the greatest
challenge will be the mountain.
Sportheute: When comes the moment where
you notice, that’s not what you wanted to do?
Mitch Tolderer: Right from the fault’s
beginning. From there on, nothing works anymore, you lose your flow, your
Sportheute: What does snowboarding mean to
Mitch Tolderer: It’s a part of my life. A
beautiful sport, which gives me the possibility to be one with the mountains,
and which gives me the pleasure, to share the mountains beauty with
Sportheute: How does your life look like? What's your
Mitch Tolderer: It's a big challange! As a man, and as an
athlete I am always looking for challanges. Besides snowboarding, I study
medicine and graduate in one year. I also want to spend more time by the sea,
|Sportheute: What does your profession mean to you?|
Mitch Tolderer: My profession was important to me, because it
allowed me to develop in the direction I did. It is a challange, too, but one
with completely different kind of people, with a different kind of
world. A few years ago, I didn't think this was possible, but I am
certain that even if I start a career as a doctor, I will continue my snowboard
Sportheute: About your injured arm, did you make the
Yes, first I thought it was sprained, but then
I had to accept it was completely fractured.
Sportheute: Do you also have dreams of starting a family in
Mitch Tolderer: Yes, I think that could happen someday.
Sportheute: What does it feel like to be part of the
world's best snowboarders and skiers?
Mitch Tolderer: You quite don't realize that. You give your
best and have great experiences. But if I imagined a few years ago, that I soon
would be a part of them, I wouldn't have believed it. And now they are my
friends, my collegues... Wow!
Sportheute: Did you have to work a lot or did you have a
lot of talent?
Mitch Tolderer: It just happened like that... Don't know if I
am very talented or not.
Sportheute:You're coming from austria, where exactly have
you been born?
Mitch Tolderer: For the last 10 years I have been
living in Innsbruck, but originally I come from Kärnten. I grew up there. I was
skiing, a lot of sport. My family helped me a lot. But snowboarding was my own
decision. First, my family was a bit disapointed, because I was a good skier and
won a lot of races, for me they had a future as a skier in mind. On chrismas, I
could wish for everything I wanted. But when I wanted a snowboard, I didn't get
it. So I went buying it myself one week after chrismas. This was the start of
the detach from my parents. The step to
Sportheute: What do your parents think of your snowboarding
Mitch Tolderer: On one side they are proud of me, but
on the other hand they are a little bit sceptical on what I
Sportheute: Are your alpine skies still in your
Mitch Tolderer: Yes, of course, everything is still there, the
complete skiing gear. I don't want to forget this time, it was a special and
especially good time.
Sportheute: What do you think of this winter?
Mitch Tolderer: It is a difficult winter.
There were some days it was nearly impossible to train at least a bit, to ride,
I had to travel around a
lot to find places for that.