For skier cross Olympian Anton Grimus, Mt Buller has been home for a long time. Born in Mansfield, Anton has been living in the same bedroom at the Grimus Pension, since he was two. Skiing forever, he can’t remember the first time he was on snow. “I think it would be such a great experience learning how to ski, for me it’s like riding a bike, I never really learnt how to ski.”
Before Anton got into ski racing, he was right into rowing, so much so that he didn’t think he’d go back to skiing. An injury put him out for the rowing season, he was then good for the skiing season, “I thought I’ve got some time, I’ll go skiing for the holidays.” He competed and did really well, he then went overseas with the alpine development team. He started doing the ski cross circuit at Mt Hotham and has been competing on the world cup circuit since 2010.
Anton travels a lot with skiing, “which is good and bad” he tells me. “You see a lot of the world which is something I’m grateful for, being part of the team with such great support allowing us to travel, but at the same time missing life back home. Friends and family, but that’s the sacrifice you have to make.”
This past summer Anton was overseas training with the Austrian team. “Training up on the glaciers at 3,800 metres in September where you’ve got warm conditions, there’s still a bunch of snow, and you can train very effectively,” Anton tells me of his training regime. “It was great to get some really good training in and be in an environment with other like minded athlete’s.”
“With skier cross there are four skier racing head to head, so while training by yourself is good, it’s only to an extent. You need to be put in that environment where you’re rustling shoulders with the next bloke, and that’s what I was able to do with them. If I can do that again it’ll be awesome, it’s all dependent on the program and what the coach thinks is important to get the results at the end of the winter. So that’s the process we’re going through at the moment.”
After Europe, Anton went to Alaska and filmed a race for a tv show The Arctic Man Challenge. “It’s a team of two, a sled and a skier. It starts off with a skier on pretty much a downhill track for a couple of minutes, then you get towed up the hill by the sled and your team mate drops you at the top of the plateau and you drop back in to the gully and finish at the bottom, it takes around four minutes. That was the first real holiday, or travel that I’d done outside of competing for the last four or five years, which was nice. Even though it was still skiing, it was a different approach and it was good fun.”
Getting most of his training done in Austria, Anton is based in Mt Buller this winter, helping his parents with the hotel, training and waiting for the northern hemisphere season to start again.
Last year Anton started up a cafe at the Grimus Pension. After being based in Melbourne for the past 10 years with school and uni, Anton got addicted to Melbourne’s great coffee and needed somewhere convenient where he could get decent coffee, so he thought he get a machine and make a little coffee shop out of it. “It’s been a good learning experience and I’ve been able to drink good coffee.” When he’s not training, Anton works in the Grimus Pension ski shop. Utilising the skills that he’s learnt throughout his racing career, helping out customers and racers and giving advice. “I enjoy it and in a way I’m giving back and also helping out my parents, I’m enjoying it, and definitely busy.”
Anton is very grateful. “I couldn’t ask for much better, I’m very blessed to have grown up in Mt Buller for one and being in this location, right on the side of the hill and to literally walk outside the door and put my skis on and see you later. The resort feel up here is awesome. There’s some awesome skiing at Buller for the size of the mountain, and when there’s good snow, there’s no place else I’d rather be. Last year was next level.”
With the target of the next Olympics getting closer. Anton says he’s got some work to do and some areas to focus on. “I’m happy where my skiing is at and I’m having a good time. I’m enjoying it, I think that’s the key.” You can follow Anton on his blog www.anton-grimus.com