Max Ullrich in World Cup

Fri. 12. February

Living his childhood dream

Max Ullrich, who has his home address just a stone's throw from Hafjell Alpine Resort, is a World Cup racer for Croatia. His home field is Hafjell and Kvitfjell, and even though he belongs to Lillehammer Ski Club, his passport is Croatian.

The 21 year old has embarked on a tough challenge. There is no doubt that he has the talent and will to practice. He has rised through the ranks, and this winter he got his chance to start for the Croatian team.

«It's been so much fun, but exhausting. Kitzbuhel was an amazing experience, the atmosphere, the track, just standing there at the start. Just awesome», says Max.

«Was it as bad as everyone says it is?»

«Oh, I don't know about that. In Kitzbuhel you have to be extremely focused. That's what it's about. I fell in the second downhill training. It went well, except for a few burn marks on my backside. But after that I couldn't really let loose in the Super-G race. I promise to do that next time, to let loose for this circus I'm going to be a part of», says Max.


Demanding

For Max this is not a walk in the park. The Croatian team is not big, neither economically nor with regard to the supporting systems around them. Max has to keep his own ski park in order. That means spending many hours in the prep room, hours that could have been spent on other activities.

«I get tired. The time I spend prepping skis the other guys spend doing dryland practice and restitution. I don't have time for that, and in this game it is the results that count», Max explains. «I am very happy I get the chance, and the management has let me know that I will have more opportunities. It's not like I'll be thrown off the team after one year. That makes me less stressed, and I try to suck in all the knowledge I can earn», Max tells.

«The big star in Croatia is Ivica Kostelic?»

«Yes, a very nice guy, but his last seasons have not gone quite as planned. He's probably in his last season now».

Thinking differently

«You also know the Norwegian system well, what is the biggest difference between Norway and Croatia?».

«There are big differences. Home in Norway there are systems and order. Everything is planned, it's a team that is working. In Croatia it's more up to the individual. Each and every one has to make the best of the situation. I hope I can contribute with a more Norwegian way to do things in the future», Max smiles, and of course he also dreams of the World Cup in Kvitfjell this March.

«Hell yeah, it's my home field. I know the track as my own back pocket. Last year I raced in the trainings, but I chose to prioritize the Junior World Championship in Hafjell», Max tells, who has been a forerunner in Kvitfjell a number of times. Dad Sven is a regular supporter for the organizers in Kvitfjell, and they both hope that Max will start in March.

«That is the dream, Croatia doesn't have a large quota, but I will fight to get that place», says Max.

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