Olympic slalom skier and media coordinator at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Ana Jelusic answers the big questions.
What... Is your favourite sport to watch/play?
I have always admired gymnasts – it is fascinating what they can do with their bodies. Apart from skiing, I like to do any summer sport that doesn’t require any equipment – from throwing a volleyball around to going for a run or a bike ride. I grew up in an individual sport so I like playing sports where I can socialise with others at the same time.
What... Is your proudest sporting moment?
One moment that was hard to forget was making the Olympic team for Salt Lake City in 2002. I was 15 years old at the time!! My first podium finish for slalom in front of 30,000 fans was also an amazing feeling.
Who... Were your sporting heroes when you competed?
Early on in my career, I remember being in awe of Alberto Tomba and Deborah Compagnoni. They influenced me to get into serious skiing. Then I was lucky enough to have one of the world’s best skiers as my teammate, Janica Kostelić, who is a very successful winter Olympian.
Who... Would you have dinner with if you could pick any three people in the world?
There are so many athletes, artists, politicians or musicians that I could choose. However, at the end of the day I would pick my friends and family. They have had the biggest influence in my life. With my busy career at the moment, I don’t see them enough.
How... Did you prepare for races when you were an athlete?
I never left the start gates of a race without getting a kiss on the helmet from my coach (who is also my step-dad!). I love to eat pancakes – European version. I love putting nutella on my crepes! I have a huge sweet tooth. I ate it before a successful competition once and then got hooked!
How... Do you like to unwind at the end of a busy week?
I love cooking! I just got given cooking classes for my birthday. I am influenced by my Italian grandmother, I love baking, cooking pasta. I spend so many days in hotels that I think there is nothing better than a home-cooked meal.
Where... Do you work at the moment?
I work as a media coordinator with the International Ski Federation. I have moved from competing on the women’s ski tour to now travelling and working with the men’s ski tour. It was a smooth transition because I knew lots of the people in that world. I take care of all the Alpine online channels for FIS and manage the relationship between athletes and media when needed. I also have more of an operational role by working with the organisers on creating optimum media content and providing the best possible working conditions.
Where... Is the next big event on your calendar?
I have just wrapped up my season at the World Cup Finals in Meribel, France. I’ll be spending a few weeks at home tidying up loose ends from this season before starting to prepare the next one.
Five quick-fire questions...
Age and nationality? 28, Croatian
Where do you live? Lausanne, Switzerland
How would your friends describe you in 5 words? Driven, quirky, positive, stubborn, always smiling
Favourite TV show? Modern Family
Favourite snack? Granola bars – a lifesaver on the road!