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Boštjan Kline
Kline claimed the first World Cup victory of his career in Kvitfjell in February 2017. Foto: Reuters

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Kline improves his giant slalom technique, makes headway in downhill skiing

Kline’s summer training camp went very well
6. October 2017 ob 22:17
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

This season, I will try to push myself even harder during my training runs. I want to get used to those longer jumps and the high speed,” Boštjan Kline said about the upcoming Alpine Ski World Cup season.

In August, the 26-year-old completed a training camp in La Parva, Chile, where he trained with the Slovene national Alpine ski team. Kline focussed on his jumps, and his progress was noticeable. “American, French, German, and Italian skiers were also there, and I happened to be among the best,” said Kline.

Kline is on excellent terms with his teammates. They often talk about their training sessions – and even about the mistakes they make. “I know it’s an ego issue. However, if you’re willing to put your ego aside, you can really benefit from the criticism of others. Other skiers have a good sense of what goes on on the slopes,” said Kline. Over the summer, Kline rode his downhill mountain bike and his motocross bike a lot. However, he stressed that riding a bike is very different from downhill skiing: “Nothing compares to downhill skiing. I don’t get the same adrenaline rush when I ride my bike or motorcycle because I’m not a skilled cyclist or biker. However, I’m looking to improve my skills, and I’m also trying to work out all my jitters.”

Kline said he has yet to train with Filip Flisar, Slovenia’s best freestyle skier, who also happens to be an excellent four-cross cyclist: “I’d like to train with him. He’s good, but I’m pretty sure I could hang with him.”

During training camp, Kline also focused on improving his giant slalom technique, stressing that this would help him improve his overall technique: “We’ve worked hard, we’ve worked on our technique, and I’m sure we’ve improved a lot.”

Taking home an Olympic or World Cup medal is every Alpine skier’s dream, and Boštjan Kline is no exception. However, he has not yet set his mind on the Olympics, as the 2018 Winter Olympics are still far away. Kline believes that many people have already set their hopes too high: “You can’t switch to ‘Olympic mode’ too soon, and you have to be able to switch back as soon as the Olympics are over. Other than that, you need to treat the Olympics just like any other tournament.”

In February 2016, the Maribor-based skier successfully completed his preparations for the upcoming Winter Olympics, having finished 11th in the men’s downhill and the men’s super-G. He said he’s gotten used to the slope, and he often tries to visualise the race: “I know all the jumps and turns of the piste, but I’m sure they’ve changed a lot of things. However, I’m already familiar with the slope, and that’s a good thing.”

During a meeting at the Pokljuka Biathlon Centre, Kline was the only Slovenian skier who said that he is gunning for a medal at the upcoming Winter Olympics. Last season, he scored his first World Cup victory, and now he’s set his sights high. He’s not a favourite to win a medal, but favourites often fail at the Olympics. He still has the skis with which he won in Kvitfjell.

I will use them again if the conditions are right. We’ve tested a wide range of skis, and we’ll pick out the best skis before the season starts,” Kline said, adding that Stoeckli always makes sure he gets the best skis.

Moreover, Stoeckli has recently brought in Tina Maze, Slovenia’s best Alpine skier to date, to help them develop new ski models for amateurs.

The Slovenian fast disciplines team is currently on a training camp in Gorica. They are also scheduled to train in Stelvio, Kaunertal, and Pitztal before heading to Lake Louise, Canada, where the men’s downhill takes place on November 25, and the super-g on November 26.

Tomaž Okorn; translated by D. V.