When thinking of snowboard veterans, one name quickly comes to mind:
The 37-year-old race boarder who was born in the Austrian region of Carinthia, but has resided in Andorra since a few years, is probably one of the last riders of the "old" generation who has competed in FIS World Cup races since 1997.
For the past 15 years, the 2006 Olympic bronze medallist (parallel giant slalom) has had great influence on race boarding.
Grabner not only won two overall FIS Snowboard World Cup trophies (2004, 2009), but also became the world champion on home soil in Kreischberg (AUT, 2003) and triumphed in 36 World Cup races.
He also founded his own race board brand (SG Snowboards) that many active athletes are strapping their hard boots on to.
Suffering from a couple of injuries in the past seasons, the rider who loves huge puzzles (5,000 pieces) is planning to return and start his on-snow training this October.
FISSnowboarding.com: You have to train hard for staying in shape, also during summer. What is your favorite exercise?
Sigi: In general I like to keep myself fit and that is the great thing about my job as a sport professional.
During training, I love to be outdoors. I do a lot of mountain and road biking – especially this summer.
As a result of my knee injury I cannot do a lot of running or hiking or climbing yet.
But I hope that in a couple of weeks I will be able to do mountain running again and start rock climbing. Windsurfing is usually also a full body summer training I love to do.
But I try to not miss too much of the core training and weight work-outs for my legs which I do in the training centre close to my home in Andorra.
There, I have also started with swim training last year and am beginning to like it more and more.
What is the best/worst about summer training?
I like to get up in the morning and choose the sport I would like to do each day. If the weather is nice I go for a longer bike tour, mountain hike or paragliding.
Otherwise, I just go to the gym and work out according to my training plan.
Usually a couple of weeks before the on-snow training starts I try to keep to a special training plan in the gym to gain some strength in my legs and core.
The good and bad thing at the same time is to be off snow for a couple of months.
In the beginning you are happy to do other things away from snow, but soon you start missing the riding and then you begin to wait for next winter season to start again.
If during training, some artist in your iPod could come to life, who would it be and why?
I am hardly ever using an IPod in training. I like to hear and feel myself and my surroundings clearly when I do sports outside.
That is also for safety reasons when for instance you are riding a road bike.
But also with my mountain bike I just like to hear the birds singing in the trees and all the other sounds of nature.
The only place I listen to music is in the gym for some power sessions and there the tunes can be harder ones like AC/DC, Metallica and so on.
If you could go for a swim anywhere in the world this summer, where would it be?
I will jump into the Woerthersee (AUT) next time I visit my friends in Kaernten.
They told me it is nice and warm.
To me the southernmost province of Austria is the place to go in summertime.
What is your goal for the coming winter season?
First of all, getting back to 100 per cent of health and shape and staying healthy and fit all winter long! I want to continue with great results just as last winter when I won in Sudelfeld (GER) and came third in Carezza (ITA).
But certainly the FIS Snowboard World Championships in Canada are my greatest goal!
It is time to win a medal again!
Thursday 13 September 2012