Italian skier Marta Bassino is latest Sky Sports Scholar to be unveiled
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 25/10/17 10:24pm
Marta Bassino has revealed why she loves flying on a set of skis and a motorbike and how being a Sky Sports Scholar can boost her career on the slopes.
The 21-year-old alpine skier from Piedmont in Italy is the 12th Scholar to be unveiled and the second from outside Great Britain and Ireland.
With a new World Cup season about to begin, Bassino said: "I feel so happy to become a Scholar.
"This is a great opportunity for me to know myself and to discover so many other things about myself. I want to perform to the best of my ability and the Scholarship programme will really help me with this.
"My big dream is to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. Next year's Games in South Korea is my main focus and I'll be aiming to qualify for the first time.
"I have to do really well for the rest of the World Cup season which starts at the end of October. All I can say is that I will be doing my best."
Bassino, also known as the Snow Princess, first skied at the age of two. With an older brother already skiing and having a dad as a ski instructor, there was only one career she was heading for!
"I don't remember starting out but I've seen pictures of me in a pink ski suit," she added.
"I do remember going fast though and having very happy memories. I just love the sport - whether it's for fun or competing.
"I feel free when I ski and I love going fast. I don't ever get scared but I do get lonely sometimes. When I'm skiing, I think of only what I'm doing and how I'm skiing. I get really focused.
"I also ride motorbikes, although my dad doesn't like me doing it! It's that feeling of the wind in my face and hair and feeling free. I have no thoughts on anything else and in that moment it is just me and nothing else. It's the best feeling I have ever had."
- Born: Feb 27 1996 in Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy
- Favourite food: Pasta with mushroom, pizza and chocolate
- Best achievement: Making her first podium in 2016
Bassino is excited about improving over the next few years with the help of Sky's support through finance, mentoring, media training and work experience.
"Every year I have got better," she said. "When I was 15 I was in the regional team, then it was the Italian team, the European Cup, then the World Cup.
"Every year there's been something more and I can't wait for that to continue. I knew I was good when I did the European Cup in 2013 and my dad has always encouraged and really helped me.
"The media training will be great for me. I would like to be more confident in front of camera and being a Scholar can really help here. I don't like interviews because I'm a private person and don't really feel comfortable.
"When I started five years ago I always tried to say 'no' to interviews but now I understand it's needed. I'm also going to continue with a nutritionist and have more physio preparation."
For a professional athlete already with her own fan club, it's likely this Italian skier will be climbing many more podiums.
"I have a motto that says it's our 'personal choices that guide us in life and make us who we are'," she said.
"Our destiny is the result of all our choices - everything we choose to do every day. I chose the Scholarship and the Scholarship chose me. That gives me huge motivation and knowing I'm good at skiing will hopefully help me get good results."