My Reason Why

My Reason Why

At a very young age, having never seen snow, Sabrina moved from her childhood home to Austria with her mum. The journey she would take over the coming years to become an elite alpine ski racer is far from the standard story. We connected with Sabrina last month to hear more about her early years skiing and what keeps pushing her to be the best.

Spyder - When and where did you first click into a pair of skis?

Sabrina - When I was 3 years old I firstly saw snow as I moved from Kenya to Austria. I immediately got contact to snow on my first plastic skis on Hansberg in Upper Austria.

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Spyder - Describe the moment and feeling when you realised you wanted hucking your body down the mountain to be the focus of your life?

Sabrina - I first got this incredible feeling when I won my 1st Championship title, I think I was 8. I knew that this is an awesome sport and as I loved watching Bode Miller I knew I also wanted to be a professional skier in future.

Spyder - Was there anyone else you looked up to as a young skier? Someone you wanted to ski like or someone that helped you along the way.

Sabrina - I've looked up to a lot of incredible skiers. But the person I looked up to the most was my dad. He is my reason WHY. As a child I was so inspired how passionate he lived his fulfilled life. He was definitely a game changer in many areas.

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Spyder - What advice would you give your 10-12 year old self? Now that you’ve gone as far as you have and experienced so much.

Sabrina - My advice to my 10-12 year old self would be “Never give up on what you really want”. No matter what others think or say, it’s your life. “Follow and Trust in your Dreams”. The rest will fall into place as it should be.

Spyder - The move from where you were born to where you became the skier you are must have been quite shocking. Can you tell us about how it feels to travel between the two places? What you love about each. Or how the places you’ve lived have influenced and shaped your life.

Sabrina - When I first moved to Austria with my mum I was really shocked, because I had never seen white people except my step dad and also the different language. Also the snow and cold winter temperatures. But step by step I got used to it. What I love most about Kenya is my family’s home. It is the easy happy living with not much and the cohesion between each other. Even if they don’t have much to give they are always giving you a tea or some warm food. What I love most in Austria is the possibility to be everything you want to be. It is a really privileged country without war or fights. I also love the big mountains and the culture here.

Spyder - What advice would you give to a kid with dreams of skiing professionally if they aren’t in a traditional area where skiing is prominent? Or without support.

Sabrina - My advice would be first “Believe in yourself”. Then surround yourself with the right people and environment to grow with them.

Spyder - If it wasn’t skiing, where would you be? And what would you be doing?

Sabrina - Honestly I’m not sure because I grew up with skiing, mountains, snow and I loved it day by day more. I always was an active, sporty, nature kid so I think I found my purpose.

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Spyder - What events are you planning on competing in for the coming season? Any specific event that you’re especially excited about?

Sabrina - In this upcoming season I'm really excited about the World Championships in Meribel. And for sure my favorite World Cup Speed Races in Cortina.

Spyder - What skis are you on these days?

Sabrina - I've been skiing on HEAD skis for many seasons now. I'm really thankful and happy about the fast material.

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Spyder - In regard to you finding training, do you collaborate with local ski clubs or do you train by yourself most of the time? Where do you train mostly?

Sabrina - The ski camps are mostly in “Hintertuxer Gletscher”. They are also one of our sponsors which supports us a lot. We are cooperating there with many different nations like Slovenia, Italians, Norway, Croatia etc.

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Spyder - What are your career goals for the coming years?

Sabrina - My 1 year goal is to reach the TOP 30 in World Cups, TOP 20 at the WSC, winning and reducing my FIS POINTS in SG & DH. My 3-4 year goal is to get consistently under the top 10 in Speed World Cups + Podiums and achieve a medal at the Olympics in Cortina 2026. My 5+ and beyond goal is to WIN the Overall Small SG & DH Globe and Olympic GOLD at the next Olympics 2030.

Spyder - What aspect of skiing puts a smile on your face every time you do it?

Sabrina - When I’m improving and I'm the fastest version of myself.

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Spyder - What is it about Speed events that you like so much? Do you still train much Slalom just to keep it interesting?

Sabrina - In speed events I love the feeling of freedom, adrenalin, flow, power, wind in my face, being as fast as I can be. I’m not training slalom anymore because we are pretty busy as a small team. It can take a lot to organise speed training. But the World Championship in 2023 I will attack in the Combination so I need to train Slalom more. ;-)

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Spyder - What do you want to see more of in skiing?

Sabrina - The backgrounds of how the TOP athletes work, think, comeback after challenges, etc.

Spyder - What’s one thing that you would like to tell people about who don’t know you?

Sabrina - I'm pretty honest and open on social media. I always want to clear up with people of my journey. Not just the best times, also the struggles. Because everything seems to be very easy from the TV, but I also want to show that it takes a lot of effort, risk and belief in your progress and goals to make it through the challenges. Especially as a small team without a financially stable funding.

I think a lot of people think I’m just an athlete. At the age of 17 I became the manager and financier for my team and coaches. That was a lot of pressure at a young age. I really learned a lot through these challenging lessons and now I'm really proud of myself and what I have achieved. The secret to success for me is to always see the positive no matter what happens around and stay faithful.

Spyder - Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you along the way?

Sabrina - I’m really really thankful for many people along my way to where I am today. But the most important are my Mum, Dad(angel now), Christian(long-time coach), my closest friends and family.

Keep up with Sabrina all season at @sabrinasimader98