EL CUAZ SKELETON Interview
Luis Andres, El Cuaz, professional Skeleton… could you explain what your sport is? Skeleton is a sport where you go down an icetrack of about 1.8 kilometers long, with your body on a sled going head first. The athlete who makes the run in less time will win. It is important to push strong and fast to gain speed since the beginning.
How and when did you start? I started in march of 1995 in the track of Lillehammer, Norway.
Who taught you to play this sport? I first saw it in the Calgary Olympic track, and loved it since the first moment I saw the sliders going in front of me at more than 110 kmph.
Winter Olympics: How is Skeleton scoring ? How does the scoring work? It is very hard to qualify to the Olympics. There are only 27 spots for all the athletes that do it around the world. We must be around a thousand participants in total. The countries ranked in the first spots get more places. The countries behind only get one place per nation.
What speed can be reached on the sled? You can reach over 140 kmph, specially in the St. Moritz and Whistler tracks.
Have you suffered any major injuries? Despite that I have broken three face guards of three different helmet, not really. Just a kind of broken rip and a blue toe.
Tell us your experiences competing at the highest level. This sport is very demanding on your mind. It needs all your attention and concentration at all times. You need to walk the track and have a plan for your descend. Need to know where to enter and exit each of the 18 or so curves that the track might have. So all day you are thinking of your run. Once on the sled your mind and body become extremely alert. Every move you do since the beginning of the run, will be determinant for a good time.
Have you ever received any medals/recognition in this sport? The best recognition I received, is when the winner of the gold medal at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics responded to the first question asked as soon as he had won the first place about what he was feeling at that moment, he recognized the reporter was from the Mexican tv, and told him a bunch of good things about me and my commitment to the sport, instead of talking about himself.
Until what age can you continue to compete in the skeleton elite? Maybe 40 to 45, most of the guys who are in the first places are close to or over their forties.
What was your fondest memory of playing this sport? The amazing speed your body experiences, because you are the vehicle.
What is your interest in this sport? I do it because I like to control my mind and body in an extreme situation that lasts no more than a minute.
What is your personal goal for this sport? Keep enjoying the super speed on the ice, as long as my body lets me.
What is your biggest accomplishment? Qualifying to the Olympics in 2002.
Height: Around 1.77
Weight: Around 74 kilos
Years training: 20
Years competing: 20
Luxury cars: Cero
Luxury watch: None
Hot places: The desert
Snow places: Canada
Cities: The less possible
Travels: To do any sport or expedition
Sports: Skeleton, Ice Hockey, Snowboard, Cross Country Skiing, Kiteboard
What foods or drinks help you gear up and stay energized for the game/event? Water, oatmeal, honey
What are the differences between the Luge, the Skeleton and the Bobsleigh? Luge you go belly up, skeleton you go head first, and bobsled sitting on a big and fast seld
Could you give some Skeleton tips? Just relax, and let the sled go.
Who’s been the most influential person in your Skeleton career? Myself
When you were younger did you do any other sports? I use to do triathlons and played soccer at the university.
Are there certain techniques you have used to develop your Skeleton skills or do you just have natural ability? The first thing you need is the will to do it. The rest training gives it to you.
Describe your 3 best experiences?
Qualifying to the Olympics
The two weeks of skeleton shool in Norway
My first run on the Olympics and watching all the people cheering for me
Do you have to have a set diet to keep yourself fit?
I eat fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbs and water, in a balanced way
Who are the sportsmen or sportswoman’s you admire the most?
All the athletes who do 400 meters run and marathon run at the top level, I think they are the strongest athletes in the world,
Define KLASSIK MAGAZINE for the audience? Awesome!