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13 January 2021 | in Winter FISU World University Games, FISU Athletes, Alpine Skiing

Ramon Zenhäusern Recalls Granada 2015 Winter Universiade Victory

Swiss Skier Dominated Men’s Slalom Winning by 3.68 Seconds

Ramon Z   FISURamon Zenhäusern (centre) stands atop the Granada 2015 Winter Universiade podium after two dominating slalom runs helped put a defining salvo on the Games. Zenhäusern stated that the experience helped fuel his golden 2018 Olympic run as well.

Ramon Zenhäusern’s second slalom run at the Granada 2015 Winter Universiade quickly turned into a most impressive victory lap.

 

Zenhaeusurn training great shot (Zenhaeusurn)The tall, Swiss Alpine ski racer was quick and nimble on his feet, linking textbook turns, building upon his 1.35-second first-run advantage and dashing to a two-run victory by the enormous margin of 3.68 seconds.

 

“It was a difficult day because the slope was pretty rough, but with my long legs, I could fare pretty well on this slope,” Zenhäusern told Brian Pinelli in the latest edition of the FISU University Legends Interview Series.

 

“When I crossed the finish and saw this victory of more than three seconds, I was wondering – well, it was crazy stuff. It helped me a lot with my self-confidence,” he recalled of the Feb. 14, 2015 race.

 

Unlike most of his fellow student-athletes, Zenhäusern had already gained valuable international multi-sport experience having competed at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games the previous winter. Zenhäusern – who has finished fourth in the FIS World Cup slalom standings each of the past two seasons – fondly recalls his time in Granada and the neighbouring Sierra Nevada Mountains.

 

“It was such an amazing experience – a special atmosphere with the other athletes who studied beside you,” said Zenhäusern, then 22. “The event was so well-organized. You could compare it to the Olympic Games in Sochi.”

With Swiss Ski Team teammates (Zenhaeusurn)Zenhäusern (right) helps lead a strong Swiss Ski team that currently excels in all the ski disciplines, including the Team Event, where Ramon and company took the gold medal back home to the Alps from the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

Zenhäusern’s slalom triumph and the awards ceremony following came only hours prior to the Granada 2015 closing ceremony, making for a thrilling and memorable final day for the Swiss skier at the 27th Winter Universiade.

 

“After the ceremony, it was also a nice evening in Granada because Granada is a student city,” Zenhäusern said. “We went for some hours to the disco and celebrated this victory.”

 

Swiss Team in PyeongChang 2018 (Zenhaeusurn)Zenhäusern has carried the momentum of his dominant Winter Universiade performance and related experience, rising to greater heights within his sport. At the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the Swiss skier surprised nearly everyone racing to an unexpected silver medal in the men’s slalom.

 

Two days later, Zenhäusern added a gold medal as he and Swiss teammates joined to defeat rival Austria in the final of the inaugural Olympic Alpine skiing team event.

 

Now in his ninth full season on the World Cup tour, Zenhäusern seeks to add to his three victories and six podium finishes (three slalom, three parallel slalom). The student-athlete has also managed time for studies while perfecting slalom turns, having earned a Bachelors Degree in Economics from Fern University of Switzerland.

 

“It helped me a lot to study because otherwise you’re thinking about skiing the whole day and when you have some books with you, you’re learning and in a completely different world,” Zenhäusern says. “For my future after my ski career, I have to work and do something. With injuries you just never know, you can be finished so fast, so for me, it has been good to always be studying.”

 

Zenhäusern hopes to pursue a Masters Degree in Economics in the future, but for the moment, his focus is on ski racing.

 

With Bachelors Degree Fern University of Switzerland (Zenhaeusurn)If Zenhäusern can maximize his output and efficiency on declining slopes, he could capitalize on a World Cup slalom title this season or beyond. His race skis supplied by Rossignol and with demand for top results from Swiss ski racing enthusiasts, both he and teammate Daniel Yule are bullish on their chances in the most technical of ski disciplines.

 

While Switzerland boasts a storied tradition of elite downhill racers, the last Swiss men’s slalom skier to win a season title was Giovanoli Dumeng, in 1968.

 

Might Zenhäusern be in the market to change this?

 

“I’m pretty happy with my career at the moment, (I’ve reached) a lot of goals already, and I’ll try my best for the future, but I think the most important thing is to stay healthy and then after all these results, maybe a globe will come to Switzerland.”