By André Santos
Two weeks ago, Visma Ski Classics published an article stating that in Season X, the number of female athletes has increased. In fact, 29,4% of Pro Skiers are female athletes and 50% of them are under 26 years old. This data is impressive, because it shows that young female athletes are getting more involved in the world of long distance ski.
This is the case with Stefania Corradini, a 23 year old Italian Pro Skier from Sottozero Gold Team Zorzi Max Orsaiec. After having lived in Mora and trained at the Mora Skidgynasium, she decided to go back to Val di Fiemme to compete in local traditional cross country ski races. Now, Stafania Corradini is stepping into the world of Visma Ski Classics, and aiming to challenge and beat the younger ladies in the tour.
Tell us a bit about your background. When did you start skiing and why did you decide to step into the Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour?
I have been skiing all my life, but only at the age of 17 I decided to focus on cross-country skiing. As a consequence of that, I moved to Mora to go to the Mora Skidgymnasium (ski oriented high school). I lived in Mora studying and training for three years and that was the best experience of my life. Then three years ago, I moved back home to Val di Fiemme and since then I have been training and competing in traditional cross-country races. This year, this new team Sottozero Gold Team Zorzi Max Orsaiec was founded and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of it, and I feel proud to be representing a local club that has so much passion for cross-country skiing.
What do you do besides skiing and how do you conciliate it with long distance skiing?
Besides skiing I study at the university and during the summer I work at a family farm. Personally, I don´t think it is hard to conciliate skiing and study/work, you just have to be good at managing your time. During some periods, I focus more on skiing, then sometimes more on school. I find it really stimulating to be doing other things beside skiing, even if in the last few years, and hopefully in the near future as well, my number one priority is skiing.
How was your summer training? How do you train for long distance?
My summer training was good, we have made some changes in the preparation compared to the last few years; my body has been responding in a good way and now I am really looking forward to the first races of the season.
What is your experience with Visma Ski Classics races?
In the past, I've done some local long distance races, like Val Casies, but I have never been competing in any of the Visma Ski Classic races.
What are your ambitions for the next season?
The plan is actually to participate in the first and the last Visma Ski Classics races this season, so my season will start in Livigno and will end in Levi. In-between, I will be racing national competitions as well as some international ones. I am quite young, so I will start with some local and shorter races for now.
This will be your first season and you will be at the starting line with athletes like Britta Johansson Norgren, Astrid Øyre Slind and Katerina Smutna?
I really admire those athletes and it feels really motivating to be racing with/against them. They are really strong, have a lot of experience and I will try to learn as much as possible from them. But for now, I will concentrate more on the younger ladies in the tour and try to challenge and beat them.