Skiing-ace Silvan Zurbriggen on motivation, sports, team building – and the breeding of Hérens cows

30. August 2016 – Katharina Schlangenotto

A question of attitude

In 2015, he had to give up his skiing-career due to persistant back pain. However, he saw no reason at all to stick his head in the sand. “Looking back, I have celebrated considerable successes during my carreer and I am very proud of each of them”, he said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper “Blick”. After his resignation, without further ado, he took a completely new direction and started an apprenticship at a bank. Not scared of a new beginning? “Why?” the tall young man smiles. “It’s all a matter of attitude.” He is not afraid of the future. Luckily, he had a great trainer and mentor at school who told him to always look at the world with open eyes, to enlarge the personal horizon and to keep in mind that there is always more than one thing one is good at. Even if there is one talent which is more obvious than another.

About victories and criticism

He was never stood on top of the podium all the time. Anyhow or maybe because of this fact, he learned to be proud of each single achievement. Once asked by a journalist if he wouldn’t be afraid of ending up as the “always second”, he replied confidently: “You know, it could be worse. Success depends on so many minor details – in skiiing for example the material or the sun radiation on the ski slope. It is important to celebrate and be proud of each and every success – even if it seems small to others.” He learned this lesson for life as a child when he started skiing at the age of three.

From the ski run to real life: about success and motivation

Meeting the 34 years-old former pro, he seems to be pretty grounded and very connected to nature. Maybe that is partly due to his home country Switzerland: he grew up in the mountains in the canton of Valais. Today, he shares his experiences about motivation, sports and team building with people worldwide in German and English.

Despite all discipline that is especially important in professional sports, he emphazises the significance of rest. “Pure luxury? A Almhütte without electricity!” In the end, the simple things matter, believes Silvan Zurbriggen and recommends: “Go and experience nature! There is no better place to recharge your batteries and to get a clear mind.” The best place on earth to relax? A lonely Almhütte somewhere in the Swiss mountains. Without electricity, of course. And what about the Hérens cows? Well, asked about his hobbies, he mentions apart from sports also the breeding of Hérens cows, an old domestic animal breed from his home region Val d’Hérens in Switzerland.

No motivation and no success without a relaxed mind. In this matter, everyone has to find his own source. Interested in Top-Speaker Silvan Zurbriggen and his thoughts and tips for motivation, sports and team building? Contact us at:

Silvan Zurbriggen

Ski World Cup Racer Downhill & Slalom, Silver-Medal World Championships St. Moritz and Bronze Medal Olympic Games Vancouver