Aksel Lund Svindal, of Norway, was born a bred an alpine skier.
His mom and dad were both skiers and made it very easy for Aksel to carry on the family tradition. His family would go to Geilo (one of the top ski destinations in Norway) often and to stay with his grandparents at their cabin. Geilo is where Aksel learned to ski. He received his first pair of skies for his third birthday. That was it – he was hooked. The skies were passed down to his brother and two cousins after him and Aksel still has them at home as a keepsake.
At 15-years-old Aksel decided to move to Oppdal, a ski destination 400km north of Oslo. He attended a high school in Norway where students could combine skiing and education. Aksel spent 4 great years at Oppdal. During those four years he made it on to the Norwegian Junior Team and started traveling more around Europe to race.
Since his junior days, Aksel has accomplished World Championships, Olympic gold medals and two overall World Cup titles. He credits winning the overall world cup as the biggest accomplishment of them all. He’s been in the top 4 in World Cup rankings every year since 2006. He has won the overall world cup twice but not since 2009. Because of this, he credits his most important goal as “taking home the big title again.”
Q & A
When did you first start training in life? Where and why?
I started skiing as kid because my parents were skiers. I didn’t think of it as training then, but everything counts so I´m sure all that skiing is helping me now.
When did you turn pro?
Good question. I didn´t apply for any schools when I finished high school, and I didn’t work. Does that mean I was a pro??
What are the events, wins, memories that stand out most throughout your career so far?
First time world champion in 2007. Olympics 2010. And winning downhill in Beaver Creek after being out for a whole year since I crashed on that exact course.
What is your favorite/best discipline (Super G, DH, GS, combined, etc) & why?
Super-G. Constant action with dynamic high force turns
If you had a discipline that needed work, which would it be and why?
Slalom. Its the one discipline where I haven’t won any titles.
Your favorite mountain? Why?
There are lots of good mountains around the world. Whistler is one great one. Probably also has something to do with great memories from the Olympics.
Tell us about your gnarliest crash on the mountain…
In 2007 in Beaver Creek CO. I took off on the Golden Eagle jump in the downhill. Went too far and completely off balance. Ended up landing on my neck after flying about 60 meters. Spent about two weeks in the hospital and I was out for the whole winter.
If there is one thing that people in the industry would recognize you by, what would that be?
I ski a lot
Who was your inspiration growing up?
Within your sport: Kjetil Andre Aamodt and Lasse Kjus
Outside your sport: my grandpa
What has driven you to work super hard and rise up beyond mediocrity?
I like to compete, and to succeed..
Are you a rebel? Why or why not?
Not until enough is enough
Finish this sentence: “Oakley is _______”
Great and fun. Sweet combo.
If you weren’t killing it on the mountain, what would you be doing for a living?
Hopefully some other sport.
What is a hidden talent you have other than your sport?
I´m analytical and like to discover what it takes to be good at something. And when I figure it out I´m not afraid to work hard to get there.
What is the best song to workout to?
A good DJ mix
People would be super surprised if they knew that you…
didn’t like wearing tight race suit (I race in one and probably wear it 200 days a year).
nervous and butterflies
Vacation Spot: Maui
Airline: Any Star Alliance
Sport (Besides your own): Wind surfing
One word association...