Sarka Pancochova Interview

Posted on Wednesday 15th September, 2010 Times Viewed: 4375
New to the scene but already a huge hit, this Czech snowboard prodigy credits her success to a pre-jump soundtrack featuring Queen and Abba.
"Oh shizzle – this place is crazy!" Sarka Pancochova is all smiles as she bounds into Hangar-7 for the first time, a whirlwind of energy. Anyone who knows this snowboarding prodigy would tell you this is nothing unusual: excitement is Sarka’s default emotion. And, though still recovering from knee surgery, she has plenty to smile about: the 20-year-old from the Czech Republic is changing the face of women’s snowboarding with her uncompromising style. She’s just been named Rookie of the Year 2010 by Snowboarder Magazine, won the first-ever women’s quarterpipe world championships and is currently ranked third in the TTR World Snowboard Tour. Not bad for a rider approaching only her third season as a pro.

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So you’re staying at the Red Bull Diagnostics and Training Centre (DTC) here in Salzburg for a few weeks to get back on track after your surgery?
Yes, I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in my left knee. I’ve been out for three months and I have another three to go before I can compete. I’m not even sure how I did it. But it’s cool as now I’ll be more inspired this season, like 'get me out there!' And the DTC is cool. You have physiotherapists, psychologists and coaches all working out what's best for you and how to train.

So you're being your usual, positive self, then?
It could be worse. Surgery was pretty cool. It was done under local anaesthetic and they had a partition there so I couldn’t see any of the gory stuff, but on a screen I could see what they were doing inside my knee. I could see the surgeon screwing the ligaments back together. And I’m quite proud of the scar.

An editor of Snowboard Magazine recently said you were the best overall female rider in the world today. Is that how you see yourself?
Oh, he was kidding (laughs). No. I don’t know. Maybe. I want to be the best. But there’s definitely so much more to do. Learning new stuff makes me so excited, so if I have snow and a board, I’m happy.

Would you agree that women’s snowboarding is moving to another level?
Yes, everything’s growing so fast for girls’ snowboarding. Guys’ snowboarding is already big in terms of tricks: they do doubles, some even do triple flips. But the gap is closing. It’s a physical thing, but attitude plays a part. Now loads of girls are like: “Right, let’s push it, let’s progress,” which is perfect. I’m very excited about this season. I’ll be practising a double backside rodeo as soon as I’m back on snow.

You seem pretty fearless in terms of what you’re willing to try. Is that how you feel?
I was always up for everything and wanting to try everything when I was a kid. In the Czech Republic I lived in a tiny village and all my friends were guys. We were always running around the forest and climbing, getting into all sorts of sports. I think that helped me when I started snowboarding at 11. But I do get scared sometimes, you just have to learn how to talk yourself through it. You’re so new to the pro scene you’re still winning rookie awards.

Has it sunk in yet that you’re already up there with the best of them?
At first it was really strange. I rode in the European Roxy Chicken Jam competition, then the European Open, with all the pro riders that I’d watched on TV. I was competing against my idols and I wanted to show off, so of course I fell (laughs). But now it’s normal to hang out with them.

You have a reputation of being quite a party girl...
Yeah, I do. It’s quite hard not to party when you’re travelling with riders like Jamie Anderson or Kjersti Buaas: one of us is always on the podium so it’s like, ‘Right! Let’s celebrate!’ But I also love sleeping. Sometimes I have a nap after lunch and it’s so amazing. I get very excited about sleep.

What would be the soundtrack to your perfect competition run?
I always ride with music. A great song pushes you, and you don’t get scared. I listen to a lot of old-school stuff – Abba, Queen, The Beatles. Dancing Queen is a great track to listen to as you prepare for a big jump. I think there’s a secret rock star in me somewhere. Me and some of the other pro girls have a sort of band. There’s five of us with two guitars, a harmonica, a ukulele and me on drums. We hang out together on tour and play the The Beatles and stuff for fun.

You reached the semi-finals at the Winter Olympics earlier this year. Is going back to win a medal high on your list of goals?
Yeah, I just couldn’t land my last run. I was kind of bummed not to reach the finals, but I know I’ll be back next time for sure. A medal would be fantastic but you can’t plan these things too much or you jinx them. For now I’m just getting fit so I can go for it this season – it’s going to be intense.

To read more about Sarka and all the Red Bull athletes, check out Red Bulletin – available on the first Sunday of every month with The Sunday Telegraph or check out www.redbulletin.com for more information.
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Comments (15)  
  Page: 1 of 1     
 masbuloh (14/02/2014 @ 10:11)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
 masbuloh (14/02/2014 @ 10:11)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
 masbuloh (14/02/2014 @ 10:11)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
 masbuloh (14/02/2014 @ 10:11)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
 masbuloh (14/02/2014 @ 10:10)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
 masbuloh (14/02/2014 @ 10:10)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
 masbuloh (14/02/2014 @ 10:10)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
 masbuloh (14/02/2014 @ 10:10)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
 masbuloh (14/02/2014 @ 10:10)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
 masbuloh (14/02/2014 @ 10:10)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.
 masbuloh (13/02/2014 @ 15:46)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.

T- Saving Bella
Edw
 masbuloh (13/02/2014 @ 15:46)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.

T- Saving Bella
Edw
 masbuloh (13/02/2014 @ 15:46)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.

T- Saving Bella
Edw
 masbuloh (13/02/2014 @ 15:46)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.

T- Saving Bella
Edw
 masbuloh (13/02/2014 @ 15:46)
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, to allow her mother Renée to travel with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, who is a minor league baseball star. Even though Bella never had many friends in Phoenix, she quickly attracts attention at her new school in Forks, and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella's attention.

T- Saving Bella
Edw
  Page: 1 of 1     
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