• Every Monday,

    20 Minutes

     gives the floor to a sports actor or actress who is making the news of the moment.

    This week, it's time for freestyle skier Antoine Adelisse.

  • The 25-year-old from Nantes, a big air specialist but also a performer in slope style, is preparing for the Beijing Olympics (from February 4 to 20, 2022) with a lot of ambitions.

  • After complicated years and Olympic failures in 2014 and 2018, Adelisse was able to rise to the highest level.

It is not the start of the season that he had hoped for, but Antoine Adelisse does not draw “any frustration” from it.

The freestyle skier, winner of the X-Games in 2021 and silver medalist last year in big air, failed to qualify for the final of the first World Cup stage in Chur (Switzerland), Friday.

This does not shake his confidence, he who will be one of the favorites of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games (from February 4 to 20, 2022), both in his specialty and in slopestyle.

Arrived on Saturday in Austria, where the next competition will take place in November, the 25-year-old from Nantes has been feeling the best period of his career in recent months, he who has suffered many injuries and who missed out in Sochi and Pyeongchang.

What is your state of mind at the start of this Olympic season?

I got really well.

Truly.

I took a big break this summer, for almost six months I didn't put on skis.

It did me good, because I was very impatient to find the snow, the training, my feelings.

It was done very quickly, I had one of the best workouts of my life from day one.

So very happy, and very excited by this coming season, with the Olympics of course but also other deadlines where I have big goals.

What do you have during this break?

I developed a passion for cooking and carpentry.

Nothing to do with skiing!

I needed to completely cut myself off and immerse myself in something different, all the while going through the usual physical preparation.

Cooking is somewhat linked to sport, since eating well is also part of our profession, and carpentry is a childhood passion that came back to me.

I loved this creativity, this renewal in an environment different from that of sport.

I got involved completely, and it relaxed me mentally.

There, I'm approaching this season really in good spirits.

I put away the tools and the kitchen knives, my head is completely on the ski.

It's rare that I feel such great well-being, so I think it was a good choice.

Does the approach of the Olympics make it a special season?

Yes, it's an Olympic season, but I'm not going to worry more than that.

The media pressure is starting to come in, I know I'm going to be expected, but I'm going through it calmly.

This will be my third Games, I know I'm capable of doing well, if it works it will be great, if it doesn't it won't be the end of the world.

I will do my best to win a title, but it's still sport, with its unforeseen events.

🇫🇷 You won't see anything more beautiful today 💥 @ AntoineAdelisse 🔥



IG / antoine_adelisse pic.twitter.com/U7b3gvtBAY

- SPORTRICOLORE (@sportricolore) September 2, 2021

Your two previous participations are not good memories.

What have you put in place to better approach this edition?

The Games are every four years, and four years are a long time in the life of an athlete. Lots of things go on in between. This will be my third Games and there was not the same Antoine on each one. In Sochi in 2014, it was the first 17-year-old Antoine, who was overwhelmed by the event and who was not necessarily at the level. The second Antoine in 2018 was too obsessed with the result. I collapsed a bit under the pressure.

This is a third version of myself, and I think it's the best.

These last two seasons, I understood my mode of operation and what makes me perform well.

In addition we now have two events, with the arrival of big air in which I have the best results.

I like the fact that there are these two events, I tell myself that there is not only one chance.

I learned to put things into perspective.

I am a competitor, I aim for victory there, but I remain very down to earth.

Did you get help to get there?

I worked with a mental trainer, who almost became my psychologist.

Two years ago, I was in a complicated phase of my life, skiing was not going well, I went through the white seasons because of many injuries, and then I had personal problems.

I was at the bottom of the hole, because it all had financial consequences.

When we have no results and no help from our Federation, we are really up against the wall.

It clicked for me.

We worked on this point with my mental trainer, so that I realized that I had hit rock bottom and that I had nothing more to lose.

That's how I got back up.

What does the Olympics represent for a freestyle skier?

It is often said that this is not necessarily the Holy Grail in this environment, with the X-Games for example ...

It still remains in my opinion.

This is where there is the most media coverage, where it marks the most sport.

Our first Olympics were Sochi, we experienced it as a great recognition.

We all remember the Olympic champions, not necessarily the last world champions.

Afterwards, we attach a lot of importance to private competitions like the X-Games, that's for sure.

It is a question of perception.

I realized my dream by winning them (in big air in March 2020), my next big goal is an Olympic medal.

If I could be the first big air champion in history, I would be very happy.

How did you experience this rise to power among the very best, these last two years?

Nothing makes you happier.

I was in a really difficult position, I could have stopped, and I decided to continue, to give everything to make it work.

It was a big bet, I am very grateful (he searches for his words)…

Do we feel that there is something happening at one point, a kind of click?

For me there is a milestone event, it is my return to a World Cup podium (in December 2019), with a unique jump in the world, which no one has done yet.

It's my jump, I created it, and it's mine for now.

In this sense I marked my sport with it, and I am very proud of it.

Behind, it was exceptional for me.

By having been at the bottom before, you learn to thank everything that happens.

You smell something, it's hard enough to describe.

You feel like your childhood dream is coming true.

How do we invent new freestyle tricks?

From the outside, we have the impression that everything already exists ...

We have a whole creation phase.

In our discipline, we are really free to do what we want.

The only rule is to have skis.

Then, the way we jump is specific to each.

Everyone tries to find their personal touch, which will make them stand out.

The creation aspect can be worked on outside of winter.

Sometimes it comes when watching a video, telling yourself that such and such a thing can work and doing it a little differently, or you start from nothing at all and try a new axis, a new grab (when you grab your ski with your hand).

This creative, artistic aspect is what I like most about my sport.

I want to do something unique to me.

Is it a must for the Olympics?

Yeah I think so.

This demarcation, if it combines technique, style and originality, it is the one that will increase the score, for sure.

Both spectators and judges want to see the person who has something more than the others in the first place.

I'm preparing something for the Games, I'm working on it a lot.

When you hold one, do you reveal yourself beforehand because you have to train or do you keep it warm?

Oh no, we keep it!

The idea is to create a surprise, that's what makes the adrenaline go up, and the impact it will have on everyone.

I keep my preparation secret at this level.

I will release it when the time is right, if the conditions are right.

You come from Nantes, which is not trivial for a skier.

Does that make you a different freestyle skier?

(He thinks) Yes, I think so, already because there is no one who skis in my family.

It helped me in the sense that I was not the son of an instructor, my parents never forced me to do what I do today.

It gave me real freedom of expression and involvement in my sport.

They told me to do what I wanted, to go all out, that they would help me as best they could.

This freedom has been a chance, I am very grateful to them.

I see a lot of cases where it did not happen like that, and that does not make fulfilled athletes.

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  • Winter sport

  • Freestyle

  • Nantes

  • Olympic Games

  • Sport

  • Ski

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