Bernhard Russi is one of the most successful Swiss ski racers in history. In the program “Zoom Personal” with Claudia Lässer, the 71-year-old reveals why February 15 is a very special day for him.
Russi is Olympic champion and two-time downhill world champion, later he commented on ski races for SRF for many years and remained so closely connected to skiing. He still remembers one day “razor-sharp”. On February 15, 1970, the then 21-year-old Russi won gold in the downhill at the World Championships in Val Gardena. When asked by Lasser about whether it was still a magical moment for him, Russi says: «I’m going one step further. I think this is my second date of birth, it is my second place of birth. » Back then everything just went together, and “very good luck” was there too.
He does believe that this was a “very decisive moment” in his life. “I don’t know where else I would be if it hadn’t been for the day.” Maybe there would have been a detour, of course that was also possible. But maybe he would have been one of those talents that disappears into the sinking. «I’m a realist enough and I know that there are thousands of talents who can do this, especially in top-class sport. And yet only a dozen get through in the end. And then you need the necessary luck at the crucial moment. » Of course you have to be ready, too.
And what does it do to Russi when he looks at the pictures today? «If you talk to me about it, it’s razor-sharp. Every detail, every memory is pin sharp. » He could tell everything that happened that day, he still knew exactly where the gates were. Russi can hardly believe that the whole thing was half a century ago, «that is an incredible amount of time».
You can watch the whole talk with Bernhard Russi on Wednesday February 19 (8 p.m.) on Teleclub Zoom. With Swisscom Replay TV you can watch the program up to seven days after it is broadcast.