talking to virginie faivre

this is our first interview featuring a free skier – and what a free skier! let's say hi to virginie faivre from switzerland. we are more than happy to have used the o'neill evolution big air event as opportunity to talk to the multiple halfpipe world champion.

virginie, do you remember the moment when you decided to get a professional free skier?
I took a year off from school and spent a winter season in whistler, canada to learn english and enjoy the powder. I felt in love with freeskiing. I was riding off piste on the big powder days and started to hit the snowpark / halfpipe the rest of the time. That winter was a dream, I had so much fun and became addicted to that adrenaline rush from freeskiing. as soon as I got back home in europe, I knew that was all I wanted to do and made everything possible to be able to live out of my passion.

how would you describe your style? 
that's a tough question. it's already hard to describe someone else's style, so mine? I would just say that I try to be as smooth as possible in the air. the style is the most important aspect for me in skiing! I am not a gymnast or a big spinner, so I just try to make everything look good.

are there many contests for girls in free skiing? 
not too many, compared to snowboarding! if you are invited to all the big events like x games (only 8-10 spots for the freeski girls), dew tour or doing the world cups, there are six events only. 
it's even harder to qualify for those as there are almost none open events. in europe, switzerland and france there is a freestyle tour (swiss freeski tour & the sfr tour) which is what was needed for the younger generation. unfortunately, those events are only on a national level and don't gain enough respect in the international scene yet. but they have a really good level as the youngs are pushing hard behind. in switzerland, there is also a great contest called the "ladies first challenge" for girls only.


and what about videos? do you have any favorite video at the moment you would like to recommend to our readers? 
filming is the thing I have been trying to do for the last few years, but it's definitely one of the hardest challenges I have been going through. my dream has always been to film a good video part in the backcountry. the problem is that if you want to have a real video segment, you need to dedicate all your time for that. as I still compete, the winters are too short and I never find enough time to film. but I am still working on it, hope it will work one day!
I would recommend you to check out the new video edit of kelly sildaru, just fresh from two days ago.

how do you experience the development in free skiing?
I have seen a lot of changes since I started freeskiing. one big step has been the progression of women skiing, with a big increasement in the number of girls doing our sport. it is so good to see the girls invade the snowparks and the contests now. I know it will just keep being better and better, as our sport became olympic and I am so excited about it!
now that we are going to the olympics, we are starting to see the national structures grow with a massive professionalism from all the athletes. I have been skiing with my friends and training by myself for the last years, and since this year, I am now part of the swiss freeski team and it is a big change. I am just really looking forward to 2014 because it's a new challenge and the olympics have always been a dream. I am just glad to be part of the history of our sport.
photo by klaus polzer

we really like your website. please tell us a bit about your artistic streak. 
thank you, I am glad that you like it! I learned how to do websites a few years ago ... I just love to do that kind of things, especially to play on photoshop and dreamweaver. I just started now to study graphic design in a school by correspondance, I am really excited about it! I also love photography.
on your website we saw the link to gorilla.ch. in which way are you involved in this project? 
that's a project that really matters to me! the kids and teenagers' lifestyle changed a lot in the past few years with the TV, video games, cell phones, and especially internet and their social medias. they spend too much time on them and it's not healthy. the schtifti fondation was concerned and that's why they developed the gorilla project. they aim is to push young people to move by the means of extreme sports. they visit the kids in the schools, so they can discover those different fun sports and realise that they are accessibles to anyone. gorilla is a website where you can learn by playing how to eat healthy and win lots of prices as well. my ski sponsor völkl got involved in that project last year, since then, we have been working together with gorilla.ch. I visited some kids in their school and also went skiing with some girls for a "meet & greet" prize. this winter we are filming to develop a freeski application for next year.
that sounds great. you are very active besides your free ski career. you also hosted the nine queens event.
I am really proud to be hosting such a unique event which has been part of the progression of women freeskiing. we needed an event designed only for girls with the same attention that men get. nico zacek brought us the best concept we could have been dreaming off: a progressive feature, with the best international athletes, during a week with no pressure. the objective was to give the opportunity and time to the ladies to finally have an event where they could push their limits further and also shoot to show the world the great style and level that women freesking has finally reached. I am also really happy and thankful that my main sponsor O'Neill is now fully involved with the nine queens!
The 2nd edition will be held in austria, in fiss, from march 19th to 24th 2012. so keep those dates in mind and book your agenda to come watch the ladies go big! if you are a skier girl, there is still a chance to be part of the event if you send a video edit of yourself before the end of february. check out the "wanna be a queen?" trailer here for more infos.

a big thanks to "smile at your sister" for this interview and to my sponsors, family and friends. have a nice winter! #BelieveInSarah

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