Downhill specialist Dominik Paris
Death metal for World Cup victory: no time to think at 140 km/h.
Dominik Paris is one of the world’s best skiers. This Italian racer has already won six World Cup races including the legendary classics, Streif in Kitzbühel, Austria and Streif in Bormio, Italy. “I am driven by my love of sport,” says the friendly athlete from South Tyrol. “There is nothing better than skiing... and I will give my all.”
Motivation is, of course, strongly linked to results. If his enthusiasm begins to wane, maybe after a particularly dry stretch, Dominik relies on the power of electric guitar, especially heavy death metal. At home, sitting on the couch, the music calms him. At the same time it inspires him. “It recharges me,” he says, “For the next start line and the next successful race.”
Summer training to winter racing
Dominik Paris begins his day with a coffee. In summer he lifts weights for two hours every morning. Lunch is followed by another intensive, multi-hour session. It’s the best way to build the physical base you need for the winter. “In summer you create confidence in your body.” explains the South Tyrolean. “Mental strength comes with the first races.”
Race days always begin with a big breakfast. After checking the piste Dominik goes through his warm-up routine, before he makes his way to the start line. Form on race day is vital. On some days, everything just flows... on others it doesn’t. What’s important is that your head can access the best possible performance at the decisive moment.
Everything must flow perfectly
Even for elite athletes the start of racing is always special, especially when you’re tackling the most technically demanding downhill courses like Beaver Creek, Colorado, USA, Lauberhorn, Wengen, Switzerland or Kitzbühel, Austria. “When you’re going well, the feeling of security is high. But after just a couple of less successful races, you can start to feel insecure. This can also happen if you feel scared.
Any mistake could end your career.
With skiers achieving speeds of 140 km/h or more, the pressure on both body and mind is enormous, and adrenaline levels reach their limit. “There is no room for normal thinking. You only react, and rely on your instincts,” says Dominik. “Everything has to flow. Any mistake could signal the end of your career.”
I will give my all for this sport.
Dominik Paris on tangible safety
What does protection mean to you?
“Personally, I want to feel my protection, and feel completely safe. My helmet, my protectors, and my ski goggles all provide this important feeling. Only then can I truly go to the limit. And beyond it.”
Have you ever hit a gate at 140km/h?
What is your most important piece of equipment?
“Our skis are, of course, vital for our success. But, the most important part of my equipment is my helmet. It protects my head! And, not just from a fall. Anyone who has hit their helmet against a gate at 140 km/h knows exactly what I’m talking about.”
Goggles can be decisive to finish top
Is vision really so important?
“There are always subtle changes in terrain, and snow condition A good pair of goggles, with the right lens, increases your safety. It helps you to perfectly read a piste’s visual cues and can make the difference whether or not you reach the top of the podium.”