The laughter returned to Corinne Sutter

World Cup in St. Moritz

“She’s a Hero”: Corinne Sutter’s smile is back

Corinne Sutter has made a strong comeback in Canada. At the World Cup in St. Moritz this weekend, you want to build on Lake Louise’s performance. The Swiss coach praises them. She herself says: “I still lack tenderness of heart.”

Wounds healed, pain gone: Corinne Sutter.

Jean-Christophe Bot / Keystone

The days between the outdoor races and the World Cup in St. Moritz are tight. Between weekends, athletes switch continents, ditching the finest flights and acclimatising to conditions on the High Engadin. The transition did not go quite smoothly this week.

When we arrived in Zurich – Kloten on Monday, parts of the luggage were still missing, then it was handed over. “Travel uses more energy than expected,” Corinne Sutter says Friday evening at the team’s hotel in St. Moritz. On Tuesday, these efforts felt a bit delayed, and Sutter stayed in bed for a long time.

One day recovery should have been enough, and “soon” I started again with fitness training. Moritz on Thursday was followed by downhill skiing for the World Cup on Friday. There was no real practice because there was no downhill race this year, but two Super-Gs (Saturday/Sunday).

Six weeks training break after a fall

On his trip to North America, Sutter took a step in the right direction, though the omens were poor. She came from an injury she sustained while training in late September. At a speed of 100 kilometers per hour, she fell and bruised both tibial plateaus. At the beginning of the week, she posted a photo on social media, taken after the fall. The scratches on his face indicated that Sutter was very lucky.

Corinne Sutter shows off her wounds on Instagram.

Corinne Sutter shows off her wounds on Instagram.

Instagram

After the fall, she had to take a six-week break from training. I’ve left the injury behind now. You no longer feel any pain. But she says, “I notice that I lack tenderness of heart. But with every swing I get a little more back.”

Preparation has never been worse

In Canada, there were also aggravating factors. The outdoor conditions at the Nakiska training camp were not ideal. There was a lot of wind and soft slopes. “We’ve never been this badly prepared,” says Sutter.

In the end, only a few difficult prehistory was evident in the two phases. Sutter finished fifth and third. This also impressed the women’s head coach Beat Tschuor. “Corin is a hero,” he says. “You did great. That’s even though she had very little preparation time.” She herself, the downhill world champion, puts it in perspective: “It’s not like I get up in the morning and say, ‘I’ll be the third.’ It takes so much for her.” In the past few weeks she has consciously built small successes, for example when the speed is good or when some lanes are fast.

Only races can help dispel self-doubt

She no longer tolerated the notorious doubts that stood in her way in the previous days. However, the uncertainty after injury makes sense. “There is still a little doubt. But for now I am ready to figure out how to deal with these thoughts.” In fact, only races help restore trust. “Every day is getting better,” she says.

Sofia Jogia has been better than anyone else so far. The daring Italian has won at times all three sprints in Canada and will also be the favorite in St Moritz at the weekend. In Corinne Sutter, she had just over two seconds in reserve on her first descent. In the second descent, the Swiss woman managed to cut the gap in half. “In Goggia everything went together perfectly. But I think the more we drive, the closer we get to it,” says Sutter. Would that be possible in Corviglia?

So far she's been in a class of her own in sprints: Sofia Jogia.

So far she’s been in a class of her own in sprints: Sofia Jogia.

Nick Didlick/EPA

Sutter associates the good vibes with the ski resort of Graubünden. St. Moritz describes it as one of her favorite races before she laughs. “Someone told me earlier that my best result here was sixth.” She achieved the aforementioned sixth place in December 2019. This was her last World Cup race in St. Moritz so far.

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