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NAME: Eva Walkner
NICKNAME: Walki
BIRTHDAY: 16 June 79
HOME: Kuchl /Salzburg Land
DISCIPLINES: Freeride
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • 2 times Freeride World Champion
  • Verbier XTreme Champion

ABOUT ME
I'm a professional freeskier born and living in the Austrian Alps. Since I was 3 years old I have skied every possible day. Skiing is my biggest passion. For many years I was a part of the Austrian Ski Team. When I was 18 I competed in my first World Cup Race in St. Anton/Arlberg. Because of many injuries I had to stop racing when I was 23. I was educated as a Sports Journalist and worked as a TV editor. I then started Freeride skiing and within a very short time I won my first competitions and qualified for the Freeride World Tour. I was the Freeride World Tour Champion 2 times, and runner up 3 times. Overall, I won 23 podiums.

  • What MOMENT do you ski for?

In skiing every moment is great! The biggest rewards you get are when you achieved something that you were working hard for for a long time. Those moments are priceless.
But being out in nature, high up in the mountains - those moments are very special and never get old. 

MORE:  

  • How do you recharge your batteries for the next challenge? 

By just skiing - with my friends and without the camera or any pressure, pushing each other and having fun all day long :)
In general, the mountains are the best place for recharging your batteries. It doesn´t matter if it´s in the summer or winter. 

  • What’s your favorite quote? Why does this quote resonate with you? 

"Niemand wird gekrönt der nicht vorher gekämpft hat“ Goethe. Means, no one gets crowned who has not fought before. I really had to fight for my victories. Coming back again and again after 3 ACL injuries, 6 knee surgeries and one massive crash where I damaged 6 ribs and my lung, was definitely not easy. It´s a huge mental game to come back after injuries, dropping big cliffs again and trying to push yourself in such a dangerous sport.

  • How do you conquer difficult situations? 

I trust myself. The older you get the better you know what you are able to do and what not to do. It´s important to go to my limits but never go beyond. Self confidence and trust.

  • What sacrifices have you had to make to get to where you are today and were they worth it? 

When I was injured in 2013 I lost my main sponsor because of the injury, That was totally unexpected. The toughest part was the money and the insecurity of losing your sponsor from one day to the next. Financially I was not sure if I could compete the whole Freeride World Tour season. Luckily I won the first event, followed by winning the title and some prize money. At the beginning it was hard to make a living out of skiing and the mental part with this uncertainty every year. So, I´m not rich and I didn´t earn a lot of money but this life gave me so much more. I wouldn't have wanted to miss any part of my career, even the hard times. I have many friends, traveled a lot, skied almost everywhere, met many wonderful people and it changed my personality on a positive way. So, YES, each sacrifice was worth it!!! 100% And, I started studying at University just 2 years ago .. a bit late but why not …?! :)

  • What do you do when you aren’t skiing? 

Sports, working, studying, missing the cold temperatures and thinking about skiing ;) I rock climb, do a lot of biking (uphill only if there is a good downhill ;)) AND I bought a sewing machine. I would like to learn how to make my own clothes. I´m becoming a housewife … haha, just kidding.

  • What strategy do you use to overcome pressure and stress for optimum performance? 

TRUST! I know exactly what I´m able to do. If I make the decision to go for something big there is no way to go back. I balance the pros and cons before and if I decide it´s within my abilities then I go for it without any compromises. If there is any little hesitation then I would start making mistakes, so trust and confidence is the key for me.