Meet Fanny Smith – Swiss Ski Cross Champion & Olympic medallist

We couldn’t believe it? What the hell was going on at the final race in Ski Cross at the Winter Olympic Games 2022 in Beijing? There was clearly some drama going on during that last jump, but what were the judges waiting for, when all the other race participants felt Fanny finished in bronze medal position?

Well, in this interview, you’ll hear it straight ‘from the horse’s mouth’ as Fanny sets the record straight! She explains what it was like for her during the race, how hard she focused on avoiding an accident last minute, not just involving her, but potentially for the Canadian athlete Mariella Thompson as well. So much is at stake in a final race, where positions on the podium are decided upon, that when things weren’t so clear cut, it seems that one Olympic judge came to the wrong conclusion…and then the shit hit the fan, so to speak!

Fanny reveals all to Claudia Peifer: how she tried to deal with the anger, the disappointment, the fury at the system for apparently having failed her, as this single judge tips the outcome of this final. This was followed by a worldwide outburst on social media in support of her 3rd place in this race and her second bronze medal in this nail-biting sport. No one can accuse her of not being committed to ski cross: she turned professional as a teenager and has been at the top of her game for so long, it makes us dizzy.

At home, in Villars-sur-Ollon, she’s a superstar and a much loved by the community – with her own fan club, of course. In this super pretty Swiss village, we meet her at the Hotel VIU, after many months of lockdown frustratingly preventing us from traveling to see her. Music is pumping from the village square opposite the train station, where people meet for aprés ski, finishing off a day on the slopes in the last sunshine, with plenty of mulled wine and beers flowing. The DJ just started playing ’Staying Alive’ by the BeeGees, which was, of course, the perfect start to our chat for TA-DAH.TV’s Sports channel. Watch the video now to meet the super charismatic and utterly unique Fanny Smith! fanny-smith.com

FANNY SMITH – HER STORY SO FAR

You know what they say: ’Start them young…’ – of course, growing up in a skier’s paradise like Villars in Switzerland, that’s what you do: Fanny stood on skis for the first time when she was two years old and raced her first ski cross event at twelve! She knew instantly, that this was the sport for her, combining alpine racing with freestyle skiing. She also likes the brainy aspect of it, using her head for strategy and planning to race the perfect race and win. It didn’t take long for her to turn professional, and so at sixteen years old, she knew her career path was mapped out and turned professional.

Where does the drive come from?
Well, being dyslexic, Fanny was often teased and even bullied at school! To survive such a cruel environment takes some guts, but to turn it into making her an Olympic medallist and to stand on the World Championship podium many times over, is something else. On top of that, Fanny made history many years later in Idre Fjall/Sweden in 2022, when she won the World Cup for the 26th time, equalling the FIS Ski Cross World Cup record. Wow, that is indeed impressive and a great achievement for an athlete, who only really thinks about ‘giving her best’. This time, she beat the Canadian Mariella Thompson, who landed on her skis in that controversial final at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, which caused so much outrage due to a wrong decision by a judge, who had awarded Fanny a yellow card, practically putting her last! This was later on reversed by the Olympic Committee and Fanny was assured of a second bronze medal once again – but not after having to fight for it.

The fighter in her keeps appearing all the time, she is naturally competitive. On the road to winning more consistently as a youngster, she had another set back: a serious knee injury stopped her dead in her tracks in 2011 and doctors told her that she would never be skiing again! But this is Fanny Smith we’re talking about, and so she set her mind on getting better and to slowly start training again, as the fighter in her reappeared to see her start competing once more in the 2012/13 season. She then won her first three World Cup races straight and stepped on the podium no less than 6 times out of 10 races. This was also the year she won the famous Crystal Globe as the world’s top ranked ski cross racer for the first time, winning the Gold Medal in Voss/Norway, where the World Championships were staged at the time.

Overall, Fanny has 2 Olympic bronze medals, 5 World Championship medals, 29 World Cup victories, 63 World Cup podiums and many more incredible accolades to her name! And there’s more to come, as she says she still isn’t finished with this sport by a long way. In the quest to be the best, 12 years later Fanny has become Switzerland’s most successful ski cross athlete, and can be properly proud of all her achievements so far. We can imagine, that she can think of quite a few words now for all those, who bullied her at school…

Fanny is an integral part of the Swiss Ski équipe and also raced at the Red Bull SuperSkiCross 2022 in Andermatt/Switzerland. There she has had the pleasure to compete against Sandra Naeslund again in a thrilling race at this special Red Bull event. Sandra won Gold in Beijing and had to work hard to defend her title in Andermatt, with Fanny closely in her tracks, coming second – bang!

Meeting Fanny is a hugely inspirational experience, not just from the point of view of achievement and sportsmanship! Her fan club is madly supportive of her, but everything she stands for has been made possible by the massive and passionate support by her family and generous patrons! Claudia Peifer had the pleasure of meeting her parents too: her father is a well-seasoned ski instructor and paragliding pilot, whilst her mum was a school teacher. Absolutely everybody knows them in this picturesque village of Villars, where celebrities and famous faces rub shoulders every winter season – yet with both feet on the ground, they are completely real and quite hilarious with it. And whilst Fanny now travels the world for her sport and sponsorships, Villars is where she is still at home, and where we thoroughly enjoyed talking to her. Bonne chance, Fanny!

DP World Tour – European Tour 2023: Alfred Dunhill Ch’ship at Leopard’s Creek, SA from 8-11 Dec

Groundbreaking news:


From 2022 onwards the tour will be renamed and become the DP World Tour. Seeing the European Tour transform into a truly Global world tour with an international schedule of golfing tournaments is nothing short of amazing. Furthermore, Paul Lawrie, the Ryder Cup winner, 8-time European Tour Champion & 1999 Open Champion has been appointed to the board of the European Tour Group as a non-executive director – congratulations Paul!

The 2022 season celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Tour, comprising of at least 47 golf tournaments to take place in no less than 27 countries. This includes the brand new tournaments to be held in South Africa, UAE, Japan and Belgium. The Rolex Series now includes 5 events: the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, the Genesis Scottish Open, the BMW PGA Championship and, of course, the DP World Tour Championship closing the season.

We’ve got another first for you: the season’s total prize money will exceed $200 million for the first time ever, which is over a whopping 176 million Euros – amazing! Furthermore, there will also be a minimum of $2 million as a new minimum prize fund for each and every tournament sanctioned by the DP World Tour (europeantour.com)

Golf – PGA European Tour

The PGA European Tour season usually takes place from January through to November. This incorporates around 42 events, taking place across 25 countries or so around the world! American golfer, Collin Morikawa finished the 2021 season as the Race to Dubai champion, being the first American to win this competition within the European tour. From 2022 onwards the tour will be renamed and become the DP World Tour. Seeing the European Tour transform into a truly Global world tour with an international schedule of golfing tournaments is nothing short of amazing!  

With the announcement of this ground-breaking change to the tour, TA-DAH.TV has delved into the famous PGA European Tour, its most famous destinations and golf courses, as well as its history and notable tournaments. 

The History of the PGA European Tour 

The PGA European Tour, as we know it, is the organisation which runs three of the leading men’s professional golf tours in Europe. This includes the elite European Tour, the European Senior Tour, and the developmental Challenge Tour. The tour was originally established by the Professional Golfers’ Association throughout the 1970s before responsibility for these tours was handed over to an independent PGA European Tour organisation in 1984. The majority of the tours are held within Europe, however, post 1980 a wide number of tours have been held in other parts of the world, touching down in Africa, Asia, and America. Any events based in Europe are typically played in Western-Europe, heavily concentrated in countries such as the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, and Spain. 

Notable tournaments in Europe 

With over 40 events held each season there are a number of notable events within the PGA European Tour. Some of the most important in Europe include: 

• The Scottish Open
• The British Masters
• The Open Championship (aka The Open or the British Open)
• The Italian Open
• The Acciona Open de España
• The Portugal Masters
• BMW PGA Championship (originally known as the British PGA Championship) 

Outside Europe notable tournaments are: 

• The PIF Saudi International
• The Kenya Open
• The Ryder Cup
• The U.S. Open
• Aviv Dubai Championship 

European Tour Destinations 

The European PGA tour is hosted by a number of famous destinations and some of these countries’ very best golf courses. This includes The Belfry and St. Andrews in the UK, as well as Valderrama (the famous Andalusian course), Le Golf National – Albatros course which hosts the French Open every year, Bro Hof Slott – Stadium Course in Sweden and many more. 

Other courses to add to your golfing bucket list include: 

• Emirates Golf Club – The Maljis Course – Dubai
• Abu Dhabi Golf Club – Abu Dhabi
• Genzon Golf Club – China
• Golf Club St. Leon-Rot – Heidelberg, Germany
• Linna Golf – Hämeenlinna, Finland
• Finca Cortesin Hotel Golf and Spa – Marbella, Spain

Current high ranking players, based on their prize money winnings, include famous names such as:

• Lee Westwood
• Rory Mcllroy
• Sergio Garcia
• Justin Rose
• Ernie Els
• Henrik Stenson 

All set for another season of golf? The European Tour 2022 kicks off in Abu Dhabi with the prestigious Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Catch all the action between January 20th – 23rd.  Go to TA-DAH.TV’s SPORTS section to find out more information now.

GWA Wingfoil World Cup Tarifa 2022 from 12 – 15 October

GWA Wingfoil World Tour 2022 dates:

  • Leucate/FRA: 26 April – 01 May
  • Silvaplana/CH: 14 – 19 June
  • Lanzarote/ES: 5 – 10 July
  • Maldives/MDV: 22 – 29 July
  • Sylt/DE: 23 – 30 August
  • Tarifa/ES: 13 – 16 October
  • Jeddah/SAU: 11 – 18 November
  • Fortaleza/BRA: 29 November – 4 December
  • Jericoacoara/BRA: 6 – 12 December

 

GWA WINGFOIL RACE CLASS EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2022

Rhodes/ GRC: 14 – 17 July