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10/05/2012 Natascia Leonardi Cortesi, twice prize winner of the Demino Ski Marathon, takes the lead in a ski mountaineering event in Russia and gives a short interview

Natascia Leonardi Cortesi, twice prize winner of the Demino Ski Marathon, takes the lead in a ski mountaineering RED FOX ELBRUS RACE 2012 event in Russia.


Top three athletes ladies and men:
Men:
1. Rinat Sofin
2. Vyacheslav Kurchakov
3. Sergey Matkin


Ladies:
1. Natascia Leonardi Cortesi
2. Larisa Soboleva
3. Nadezhda Khaustova


Here are some extracts from the interview with Natascia Leonardi Cortesi, Olympic prize winner and World Champion ski mountaineering.


- Natascia, have you been into sports all your life?


- Yes, I have. I’d been in the Swiss National cross-country ski team for 22 years and our team took bronze in relay in the Olympics, Salt-Lake-City.


- When did you first try in ski mountaineering?


- A lot of people in my village enjoy not only cross-county and alpine ski but also freeride and climb to the mountains on skies, and I also decided to try. But my first competitions were in 2000, I guess.


- When did you win the World Championship ski mountaineering?


- In 2006 after Olympic Games in Turin where I participated in two disciplines and relay. World Championship was also in Italy. I skied the “vertical” and won.


- How different are cross-country skiing and ski mountaineering?


- Ski mountaineering allows me to enjoy surrounding nature, I feel free in the mountains but one has to make efforts not less than in cross-country.


- What are your plans for the upcoming event? It is believed that you will be there as a member of jury or you will race an upright kilometer?


- I will take part in the individual ski mountaineering races. I wanted to ski a vertical kilometer race to the Elbrus top but I got ill and not sure whether I’ll be able to participate in these three races.

- To ski these races you must have good acclimation, at what altitude do you live?


- My village is near a famous resort Saint Moritz, on the border of Italy and Switzerland, about 1100 m. But I often climb to 3000 m and hope that I have enough acclimatized.


- Natascia, you have improved your Russian skills, how long have you been learning Russian?


- Not that long, since May 2011.


- Good! What languages do you speak?


- Of course, German, Italian, French, some Spanish, English, and Russian.

Contributed by skisport.ru