NAKED Optics is proud to introduce a new Olympic Champion. Matej Svancer is 15 years old, comes from the Czech Republic and is the happiest person when he can ski. He has been part of the NAKED Family for two years. As soon as he's on the slopes, his two favorites shouldn't be missing either: The TROOP EVO Flashback and the TROOP EVO Papageil. When he's not in the park, he's probably at school. Matej is a student at the Skigymnasium in Saalfelden and attends the freestyle branch. He just took part in the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games and won the gold medal in the Big Air competition. NAKED Optics asked you what particularly motivates him and what goals he has set for the future.
From alpine skiing to freestyle: the beginning of a great career
If we look back into the past, it didn't always look like Matej would one day compete in slopestyle and big air at the Winter Youth Olympic Games. He gained his first sporting experience in alpine skiing. It was clear early on that he felt very comfortable on his skis and enjoyed every minute on the slopes. Although there was a lot of potential in him and he had a lot of fun in alpine skiing, he decided to switch to freestyle. In an interview, Matej also told us why: “I switched to freestyle because I just had more fun. People are also much more relaxed. In general, everything is chilled in freestyle.”
Not only does he enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, he also likes to learn new tricks in the park with his friends. Learning a new trick is also the most challenging part for him in this sport. If this is very promising for the future, then he also practices it until it fits perfectly.
Ups and downs at the Winter Olympics
One of the highlights of his young career was definitely taking part in the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne 2020. In his first competition at the slopestyle event, he already came fourth. Despite the good result, he was a little disappointed after the competition. “I was very sad after the slopestyle event. I fell on the last jump and couldn't stand it anymore. The same thing happened to me at the Youth World Championships. Of course it was also very bitter to finish fourth and miss the medals. I was very sad afterwards,” he told us.
Despite his young age of just 15, he showed mental strength and was able to hide the first result. He had no idea that he would still be so successful in Lausanne. In his second competition, the Big Air competition, he won the gold medal: "I was very happy after the Big Air. It was a great day for me." After such a great success, Matej can only have one perfect finale. “After the award ceremony I received a lot of messages. Especially on social media. After that I went skiing with my friends. I love being in the park with them,” he told us.
Matej's ambitious goals for the future
Matej is a down-to-earth athlete and savors every second on his skis and in the snow. "I think my biggest motivation is my friends. It's the best thing for me to be in the park with them and try new tricks. Good coaches who support you are also very important to me.” When he thinks about his future, he has many sporting plans. “I have some goals in mind for later. On the one hand I would like to drive for Red Bull and on the other hand I naturally dream of taking part in the Winter Olympics. It won't be easy, but one day I want to achieve these goals." he told us in an interview.
Matej also has big dreams off the slopes. As soon as he gets the opportunity, he would like to travel to New Zealand – for skiing, of course. What shouldn't be missing? Of course his friends. Some of them are also athletes and take part in the same competitions as Matej. He also told us that the competitions are a lot more fun when they're there.
His secret recipe for success
Besides training sessions, learning new tricks and skiing in the park with his friends, Matej also has his personal favorite on the slopes. "My favorite meal on the mountain is a ham and cheese sandwich with fries. Without ketchup and without mayonnaise”. It seems that we have to swap the traditional schnitzel for a ham and cheese sandwich at the ski hut. Maybe then we'll get superpowers like Matej and fly away from everyone.
The NAKED Optics team wishes him all the best for his future competitions. Follow his journey on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/matej_unicorn/
Photo credits: DIDI and Michal Peč