facebook_pixel

Interview Thomas Waldner, co-organizer of the King of the Alps festival taking place in Sütirol in Italy in June.

Published on avril 15th, 2020 | by Kayak Session https://www.kayaksession.com/img-current-issue/upload-your-video.png

Corona Diaries #20 Thomas Waldner (Italy)

Outside, rivers are starting to flow and spring is around the corner, and the sun is shining high. Yet around the world, many are grounded at home and it seems likely others soon will be. Though difficult, let’s repeat it, folks this is THE THING TO DO! It is necessary and worth it!

So, we at Kayak Session decided to take the opportunity to catch up with our friends in the whitewater community and see how they are coping across the globe.

Today we talk with Thomas Waldner, co-organizer of the King of the Alps festival taking place in Sütirol in Italy in June.

The last few days we talked with our friends, sponsors and the authorities and decided that we should postpone the « King of the Alps » and thus the European Championship to next year.

KING of the alps 2020 Logo

How’s it Thomas? Where are you and what is the situation like where you are? 

Hello Philippe, I live in beautiful Merano, surrounded by beautiful mountains and great rivers, but all that is not really helpful at the moment. There is a curfew throughout Italy. We are only allowed to walk within 200 meters of our own apartment. You can only travel further away for shopping or if you still have work.

How has Covid-19 impacted your plans for the season? (both personal and professional)

This pandemic has turned everything upside down. I’m lucky that I live in the middle of the apple orchards and we have private space to move around in, but kayaking is currently out of the question. I normally would be on the river most evenings after work, It’s really hard at the moment, but will be even harder when the meltwater arrives and the rivers fill. All the plans we had to go to Corsica and Slovenia have also vanished. I have planned to go to Norway at the end of June and since I am an optimist, I still hope that it will work.

Since I work as a mechanical engineer, I can currently work from home and I hope, that a vacation in the summer will be possible.

 Above all, I was looking forward to go paddling with everyone here on the Passer again. I hope that at the beginning of June it will be possible to travel again, and maybe some people will still come and have a paddle with us … I’ll keep from June 1st to June 7th free. So get in touch !!

How did you stay fit at the moment?

I try to stay fit on the rowing machine and play games, especially volleyball with the whole family. Another good way to keep fit is to shovel out the garage floor. I felt it in my arms for two days! As soon as we get building material again, I will pave the garage with stones.

Racer taking up on the King of the Alps finals, a super impressive rapid that paddler run blind ©Flo Smith/KOA

We see a lot of event pulling out, what is the situation for you guys? Can you confirm the event will happen this year?

The last few days we talked with our friends, sponsors and the authorities and decided that we should postpone the « King of the Alps » and thus the European Championship to next year. This saddens me and the team a lot. We have already invested so much time and money in this year’s event and postponing it by 1 year is not easy. Above all, I was looking forward to go paddling with everyone here on the Passer again. I hope that at the beginning of June it will be possible to travel again, and maybe some people will still come and have a paddle with us … I’ll keep from June 1st to June 7th free. So get in touch !!

What is the Südtirol population reaction to the stay home – is it respected?

I believe throughout Italy that people adhere almost 100 percent to the rules. And it looks like the numbers have been decreasing continuously for some time. We were really lucky that in South Tyrol the numbers of cases were low. Unfortunately, some nursing homes were hit hard and there were an above-average number of deaths.

In the long term, I think outdoor sports, and like canoeing, will get a boost.

What effects will this situation have on canoeing?

I think in the short term a lot of businesses and companies will get financial problems. In the long term, I think outdoor sports, and like canoeing, will get a boost. Many people will now realize how valuable nature, and outdoor exercise are.

Thomas Waldner, co-organizer of the King of the Alps festival taking place in Sütirol in Italy in June.
Thomas coping with the situation; being former top slalom paddler staying fit is part of his DNA.

Any words of wisdom for your fellow paddlers across the world?

I hope that if we look back on this crisis in a few years, we can say that all the sacrifices that each of us have made, have led to a better and safer world and that we will be even more passionate about paddling.

Tags: , , , ,




Back to Top ↑
  • >>>VIDEO OF THE WEEK

  • Kayak Session Issue 80 – Winter 2021

    Current Issue