24 Feb 5 Minutes with Candide Thovex
I am lucky enough to have secured a five minute time slot with one of the best freestyle skiers the world has ever seen. Candide Thovex and I are in a café in the centre of Val d'Isere. We talk Frost Gun, freestyle and future plans.
This year's Frost Gun was not only special because it was the 10th anniversary, it also marked the introduction of snowboarding and a place on the World Snowboarding Tour (WST). Candide was pleased to see this introduction and has always said that his ski style has always been influenced by snowboarding. He explains:
“I did a lot of Mogul skiing when I was a kid - it was all very strict in terms of regulations. Then snowboarding came along and it was a new style, a new spirit, kind of free…the fact that you could grab the board and do different rotations. Before that, skiing there used to only be 360s or backflips but then snowboarding came with rotations in-between the 360 and the backflip. It was really something different and we really get inspired by that.”
When I ask if there are any plans to restart his own freestyle ski festival, the Candide Invitational, which he ran up until 2008, he admits that he has been thinking about it a lot but needs to focus his attention on his internet clips for the minute.
“When I see the success of the clips I've been doing I cannot think of planning an event. They have been getting a lot of views and a lot of media. The event is in my name and I am into detail, it takes a lot of preparation in the winter and I need to be able to ski as much as possible to do those kinds of clips.”
Candide's clips called “Just One of These Days” which feature him free skiing complete with incredible stunts and also a bit of tongue and cheek humour have been an internet sensation. Candide has recently released his second clip which already has over 13 million views.
In recent years, there has been an increased popularity in skiing and snowboarding, more television coverage and more individual events in the Olympics. Candide thinks we have events like Frost Gun to thank.
“It's great to have big events like Frost Gun because if you look at it, we don't have much in France so it is definitely good for the kids, it's a big motivation for all of them.”
This ends my chat with Candide and while I may not class myself as ‘one of the kids', I'm definitely feeling inspired to try out a few new moves.