Chapuis takes cool approach

Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:57am EST
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Jean-Frederic Chapuis casually thinks about becoming Olympic champion in Sochi next month.

The first Frenchman to be crowned ski cross world champion, Chapuis turned his sights towards the discipline after failing to make it to the highly competitive French Alpine skiing national team.

"What I liked in ski cross is the direct confrontation with your rivals," Chapuis, who made his World Cup debut in 2010, told Reuters.

"It also perfectly suits my instinctive side."

With four skiers starting from the same gate and extremely high chances of crashes, ski cross is rather unpredictable, but there is no result without hard work.

"It's just that the attitude is more easy going than in Alpine skiing. Otherwise there is at least as much training involved," the 24-year-old Chapuis explained.

Michel Lucatelli, the head of the French ski cross national team, said Chapuis had huge potential.

"He has good instincts, he's fast and technical on the skis," said Lucatelli.   Continued...

Jean Frederic Chapuis of France poses with his gold medal after winning the men's ski cross race of the Freestyle World Championships in Voss March 10, 2013. REUTERS/Hakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix