I am competitive by nature
Skiservice welcomes a new athlete to their team of up-and-coming sports youths: 13-year-old Ilaria Gruber. The girl from Silvaplana is the Swiss cross-country skiing champion in the «Under 14» category and has won the U14-Night Sprint at the Engadin Skimarathon. Her ambitions are set even higher.
The Albula Pass is one of the places where you will be most likely to see Ilaria in summer. Once a week, she sprints up the steep mountain road on roller-skis in the classic diagonal stride. Last August, she enrolled at the talent school in St. Moritz-Champfèr.
The school’s schedule is designed to fit her training and her competitions: She only takes the main subjects, two mornings a week are set aside for sports, and there is no homework. Ilaria works out about ten hours a week. Still, she says, she has plenty of time left for her hobbies, such as reading. And what else? «Sports,» she says with a grin. «Swimming, and a triathlon now and then.»
Ilaria has a quiet voice and reflects on her future. To become a pro would be nice, she says. But she would need to train for something else besides sports. To get an education is important to her. «You never know if I’ll succeed. And, even if the sports career works out, there is a life after that.»
She had a lot of fun at the shooting with the Skiservice Magazine. «To criss-cross Lake Sils in the crystalline snow was fantastic.» As for the competitions next winter, she is aiming high. «Full on!» she says. «I am competitive by nature.» Ilaria is the reigning Swiss champion in her age group. And she intends to defend the title.
(13) joined the Skiservice Team in 2019. Skiservice promotes several young athletes from the Engadine across a range of sports.