Laetitia Roux, the French upper-class athlete, 15 times awarded the title of world champion in ski mountaineering, six times winner of the World Cup and five times winner of the competition Pierra Menta (French international competitions in ski mountaineering), combines professional sport with work in the special “mountain police” unit of the French gendarmerie. After the event Font Blanca-Andorra 2017 she shared with all-andorra.com her impressions, as well as her plans for the development of ski mountaineering among women worldwide:
Interview: Andrew Winer
Your numerous victories look like a way of life … How do you manage to keep ahead all the time?
I have always loved to compete. I’m something of a perfectionist and just love to do everything I do well.
Each victory – does it feel different each time?
The most important victory is the first one, it certainly has a special flavor. Each new victory is different from the previous ones, because every time it is won in a new way, a certain contribution, which requires determination, ambition. But every victory is always a great joy and gives me a sense of personal satisfaction.
Do you train in France?
I live and train in France. I spend summers in the Alps (Hautes-Alpes), in a place called Savines le Lac, where I come from. Winters I spend near Annecy, in la Clusaz.
How do you prepare for a competition? How many hours do you need to devote to the sport on a daily basis to be in good shape?
I have a coach. I train six days a week, the number of hours varies depending on the time of year and my form. I train on average 10 to 25 hours a week.
You won the Font Blanca World cup (ski de randonnée) in the category “Individual race” in Andorra in January this year. What do you think about the level of organization of competitions in Andorra?
I think that now these events have become common in Andorra. It is an organisation on a roll as they say. However, the weather conditions are not always optimal. But as for the organization, each year the level improves.
Would you like to return to Andorra next year to participate in the Font Blanca-2018 competition?
Well, I plan to continue to participate in the competition next year and I will be happy to come back to Andorra. By the way, this stage in 2017 was the most beautiful in the whole history of my competing in Andorra – it was a beautiful day with bright sunshine and blue sky.
What else do you plan to do next year?
Together with my friend I am working to launch a Women’s Skimo Project. For me this project is a way to share my great experiences in high-level ski mountaineering competitions, to share all my knowledge, to help women discover ski mountaineering and help them to compete and express themselves.
The project’s goal is to meet women, motivated and loving this kind of sport worldwide. This ambitious project will start with a web series and then full value movie. Now we are at the first stage, getting together the budget for the development of the pilot episode.
We also created a Facebook page to help the project.
What other sports do you practice?
I’m a fan of all outdoor sports, which create thrills and adrenaline: VTT (vélo tout terrain, mountain bike), road bike, paragliding … I love bikes, all the “sliding” winter sports. In the summer I love surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, wakesurfing … Generally speaking, I am open for all outdoor sports!
What is does discipline mean to you? Do you strictly follow a sports regime?
Discipline for me is a healthy lifestyle. If possible I always try to eat correctly and on schedule. Discipline is also a healthy sleep routine. It is important to keep my own rhythm, take care of myself, pay a lot of attention to recuperation. And, of course, to carry out the coach’s training requirements.
Are there any technical secrets that help you to win or are your victories just the result of being in good physical shape?
As I have already mentioned, success is the result of hard work and discipline, in everyday life. This is a general contribution, but and foremost – is the desire, the determination and the passion.
Please tell us about your second profession – police officer in the French Mountain Police of the Gendarmerie Special Forces, which provides assistance to people in distress, searches for missing persons, carrying out investigations into accidents in the mountains, as well as crimes?
I am a detached police officer . That is why I have enough time to exercise. My mission is to hold high the flag of the gendarmerie and the Army of Champions. Athletes and military services share common values, we have the same commitment and the general concept of discipline.
How do you see yourself in 10 years time? Do you think you will stay in sport, or are you waiting for a radical change?
I don’t think I can ever leave sport. But I would like to share, meet, discover, offer…