Simone Nai Oleari


"Speed in the genes"

2012 Facts:
- 10 competitions in 2012
- Best 4: 1250 pts (Total score: 2466)

Simone Nai Oleari is the speed slalom specialist who took part in the most competitions in 2012. He took the lead of the World Ranking in August.
After having changed places with Kim Sung Jin in March, reaching the World's 2nd place and relegating the Korean to the 3rd place, the grandson of a multiple running champion ousted French multi-world champion Yohan Fort who had been ruling the world for 12 months… A great season for the new first place holder, being 50 points only from the maximum score at the Best 4, with an impressive list including first places at the main competitions of Moscow, London, Bangkok, a European Vice-Champion title in Berlin and the bronze at the PSWC in Paris… Perfect? Almost…

Did you expect to be No.1 this year?
Obviously, to speak frankly, I was dreaming of reaching that place in the ranking, like other skaters I guess… But you know that there's always a little difference between dreaming about something and making it true! 
As I said in the interview of last year, my goals for 2012 were to get good results in the competitions and to have a lot of fun around the world… Looking back on the 2012 season, I can say that I'm very happy because I was lucky enough to get all the goals I wanted, especially about the fun at competitions!!

What does it feel like?

Now that I'm No.1 in speed slalom I'm feeling the same as before, when I was skating in the courtyard behind my grandma's house, only for myself, for fun, when I was 11 years old, but with just a little bit more experience.

What was the turning point ?
I think that the real turning point was the 2011 World Championship in Geisingen, Germany. I did some mistakes at that competition, being knocked out immediately after a good qualification, but that time I realized very well what was my potential about the future competitions. And now I'm here!

Did you manage to reach all your objectives for 2012 ?
I think that I should answer yes because I got the first place at the ranking and in the same time I had a loooot of fun, but my answer is certainly no! ^^
I had a "bad" result in the World Freestyle Skating Championship (WFSC) held in Lishui (China). Since I was in a good shape at that competition, for me the 6th place is not a good result.

Any regrets in 2012?
The only regret I have is not about the competitions but about the surrounding circumstances. 
This because always, every competition I took part in was very well organized, in all my trips I met only warm and helpful people and in the cities where I've been there were always many interesting places to see... But I could not spend enough time to enjoy really fully those beautiful times!!! At the best moments, there was always a train/flight to take to come back in Italy… (with the rush not to miss it!!)


What are your objectives for 2013 ?
Easy: keeping my place and having fun at the competitions!

Your feelings about the 2013 World Ranking ?
I think that the difficult part starts only now because now everybody wants my place. So I guess that it will be very hard to keep the first place… being focused all the time and always being in a good shape is not an easy job, but I want to try the same to keep my place as long as possible!

Which skaters are you afraid of ?
I'm not afraid to meet "he" or "the other one" like "Tom, Dick or Harry". I always try to do my best. The strongest, fastest and cleanest will win. If someone else is better than me he must win. I'm not afraid of this.
Plus, I believe that losing against someone faster than me is only a good way to grow and understand what to do in order to be better the next time.

What do you want to improve for 2013 ?
I want to find a place to skate!
I recently moved to live in Milan to be closer to the place where I work full time. It's a good decision and I like my new lifestyle, with no stress and without many hours stuck inside my car, fighting with the traffic jam just to reach the company where I work, BUT now I don't know where to skate during my five-day working week!!

What strong points do you have compared to your opponents ?
My strong points are the people around of me. First of all, my parents. They are always ready to support and help me when I need them. Then I have to thank my coach. He always knows the right thing to make me the most POWERFUL skater in the world! (joking) And we are also good friends.
Last but not least there is my grandfather. He was the fastest Italian sprinter from 1945 to 1954. He was many times the Italian Champion of the 100 m, 200 m, 4x100 races and long jump. I can swear that he is very proud of me, he has always been. But I hope that one day, in the future, I could be just half of what he has been…
So my strong points are "just" these. They are the real number ones, not me. For sure without them I would never be here to write this interview to you, from the first place of the world slalom series ranking.

Will you go to more competitions in 2013 ?
I hope to take part in lots of competitions in 2013. Skating and competitions are my life… It's like food for me: I can't survive without it! hahaha) And people who know me know what it means to me!!


Interview by Chloe Seyres for / January 2013