Cuche, 37, stays fresh on World Cup circuit
Vail, CO Colorado
BEAVER CREEK – At 37, Swiss skier Didier Cuche is one of the oldest World Cup ski racers on the circuit this season, and he’s also proving he’s one of the fastest – at least for now.
Cuche is starting the 2011-12 World Cup season with a bang. He finished first in the Lake Louise, Alberta, downhill last weekend, and second in super-G. He’s looking strong heading into the Birds of Prey race weekend, too.
“I actually don’t feel so old,” Cuche said after Wednesday’s Birds of Prey training run in which he put up the best time out of 81 racers. “It’s a matter of keeping fresh, being fresh.”
Cuche has 346 World Cup starts, 18 World Cup victories, 62 World Cup podiums, four World Alpine Ski Championships podiums and one World Championships win. He has 10 Olympic Games starts and one Olympic silver medal in super-G. To sum it up concisely, Cuche is a ski-racing force.
Cuche has found that over the years, his training has become more about quality than quantity. He’s become more precise with his training, and it seems to be paying off.
With Birds of Prey this weekend, Cuche is almost giddy when he talks about ski racing.
“It’s one of my favorite courses,” Cuche said. “From top to bottom, there’s not two turns where you have to have the same technique or same move or same engagement or same touch with the snow,” Cuche said. “That’s really sweet – if you make the perfect run here when you come in the finish, even if you’re not on the top, but you had the perfect run like you wanted to, that’s just indescribable feeling.”
It’s that kind of attitude that makes it easy to see why Cuche is still racing. He’s still having fun and has an undeniable passion for the sport. He just loves what he does – he loves to go fast.
Cuche talked to reporters Wednesday about the International Ski Federation rules changes coming up in 2012-13 regarding the size of giant slalom skis. While agreeing with fellow ski racers on their opposition to the rules change, Cuche alluded to retirement.
“Maybe if I quit next spring I don’t have to race on that and if I continue then I will try my best to adapt myself for that,” he said.
Cuche doesn’t know something he’s not telling ski racing fans, though, he just mentions retirement because everyone keeps asking him about it, he said.
“I have to think about it because everybody asking me,” Cuche said. “But I really don’t know and I don’t think myself about that. We’ll see in the spring, and if I know it during the winter, then I will communicate it.”
For now, Cuche is focused on his upcoming World Cup races and a season that has started out unbelievably well for him – he can’t imagine focusing on anything else.
“Now I’m trying to focus on the nice races coming and try to profit from the good shape and the good mood I’m in,” Cuche said.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.