From 21 until 25 April 2021, Raphael Maier, Skeleton Headcoach, came to Belgium for a couple of days. During this time we conducted a short interview :
- You arrived in Belgium on Wednesday, what was the goal of your visit?
The goal of my visit was to plan for the upcoming season and to coordinate the Summer Training with the athletic coaches and physios.
- Due to Corona I assume last season was different, did you see a big difference with a regular season?
This was a really special Season full of challenges. The big difference to a normal season is that it was even more exhausting with all the rules we had to follow. To protect ourselves the best we used a camping bus as a changing room.
- As the head coach of the Belgian Skeleton, what did you think of Kim’s performances last year?
Kim’s performance was a really solid one with five out of seven World Cup races in the top eight. In total we are really happy but also know what we have to work on next season.
- In regards to next season, what are the main goals for Kim?
The main goal for next season is the preparation for the Winter Olympics. We only get 3 weeks of training at the Olympic Ice, where we have to find out the best material. In the World Cup we want to secure our place in the top eight and are aiming for the first Podium.
- As next season is an Olympic season, what are the expectations for the 2022 Winter Olympics?
The goal for the Winter Olympics in Beijing is to put down the best performance four times. We want to get into the top eight and if our plan works out, anything can happen.
- Apart from Kim, Belgium currently has 3 young athletes who are active on the EC and ICC field, what did you think of their performances last season?
Aline had a strong season and made big progress. It’s just her second season and the focus was on learning and progressing. Katrien had to fight with some injuries in the beginning of the season and couldn’t improve on her start time which made it almost impossible to reach better results. Colin had struggles with finding the right material which took a lot of confidence and stopped him from improving last season. Nevertheless we are confident that even a step back can mean 2 steps forward next season.
- What are their main goals for next season?
The main goal for all three is to secure in the top 10 of the europacup.
- Do you see any opportunities for Belgium to become a skeleton country with more than one athlete active on the World Cup level?
Of course! Colin could already have a spot in the World Cup for next season. I’m optimistic that in four years the Belgium Federation could have two spots in the women’s competition and one in the men’s field.