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In the previous World Cup season, Ilka Štuhec ended up winning seven races. She also won the downhill and combination Crystal Globes, while becoming the World Champion in downhill. Foto: Reuters

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Success has brought Štuhec responsibilities that she had no idea about

It's still not known whether Ilka Štuhec will compete in Sölden
12. October 2017 ob 20:46
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

"A 3000-euro watch? The one I have right now is worth a bit more, but I received it as a gift," says Ilka Štuhec when asked if, now that's she's one of the world's top skiers, she can afford some luxury, such as a 3000-euro watch.

"The most important thing for me is that we can afford training sessions in the most suitable places, regardless of the overall cost. But I'm not the type of person who would spend money on luxury goods. If I do buy something, it's more likely to be for people close to me than for myself."

In the previous World Cup season, Ilka Štuhec ended up winning seven races. She also won the downhill and combination Crystal Globes, while becoming the World Champion in downhill. These unbelievable successes made her a skiing star, but her new status has also brought some less pleasant consequences that could affect her performance – as ski jumper Peter Prevc discovered last year.

"I now have many responsibilities that I had no idea about last year. However, that's part and parcel of success, and I must organize my life so they don't negatively affect the timing of my training," says the Maribor native, adding that she has no more demands from her new sponsor than other skiers.

Štuhec has completed the training sessions much like last year: "There weren't many differences. I'm happy with my training sessions, although we had heavy snowfall twice in Chile, so the snow was softer. But what we managed to do went very well. Everything will go according to plan until the first races."

Even though she was very fast last year, she doesn't consider her skiing to be ideal – not by a long shot. "There are plenty of things that need to be improved. In any case, I could ski faster and better. Before we started to train downhill skiing this year, we spent a lot of time on the technical disciplines."

We could learn if Štuhec ha improved her giant slalom performance as early as the end of this month in Sölden, but she hasn't yet made up her mind about whether she will compete there. She will decide to compete only if she trusts her giant slalom form enough to see herself as a candidate for a top-15 finish.

Is she hungry for new wins? "I'm not sure if wins are what I'm after, I'm more concerned about challenging myself and proving what I can accomplish." She adds that she wouldn't mind seeing second or third-place finishes at the start of the season instead of wins: "If I did my best in these races, I couldn't really blame myself."

She doesn't like talking about her goals: "I know what I can expect and what I'm capable of." And what about the Olympics? "I'll try to condense four years of hard work into those two minutes."

Tomaž Okorn; Translated by Jaka Bartolj
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