Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Red Bull to Sponsor Pinturault and Zampa

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Two weeks ago French super talent Alexis Pinturault posted on Facebook and Twitter that he had a big announcement. One of our intrepid reporters was immediately dispatched to France to get the story. Our reporter interviewed dozens of women in Courchevel, thinking that Alexis would be announcing his engagement. It turned out that Alexis' announcement had nothing to do with marriage. Instead, he told the world that Red Bull is his newest sponsor. Not to be outdone, Slovakian up-and-comer Adam Zampa announced last week that he now has two Austrian sponsors: the bakery Naglreiter and Red Bull. The others have already reported about these two racers and their new sponsors, so this is old news. But, as usual, we have our different spin on this story. We were unable to contact Adam Zampa, but Alexis Pinturault consented to an interview. Let's see what he has to say.

BB: Alexis, you had the ski world fooled by telling people you had a big announcement. A lot of people were expecting you to announce that you were engaged. 
Pinturault: I even fooled your intrepid reporters and researchers. Maybe they are really not so intrepid after all.
BB: You did. But we found out that there are a lot of young women in the Courchevel area who would be happy to marry you. And, by the way, we have the most intrepid reporters and researchers in the business. 
Pinturault: There are a lot of very nice women in Courchevel. But I am not ready to get married yet.
BB: Why Red Bull?
Pinturault: Red Bull sponsors some of the best athletes in the World Cup like Aksel Lund Svindal and Erik Guay.
BB: Aksel is Norwegian, Erik is part Norwegian and you are half Norwegian. Are you saying you joined the Red Bull team for the ojlmsfjaegger?
Pinturault: The what?
BB: Don't tell me you are half-Norwegian and never heard of ojlmsfjaegger.
Pinturault: I have no idea what you are talking about.
BB: Every Norwegian's favorite birthday treat. Ojlmsfjaegger are cubes of pickled reindeer heart covered in a special smoked salmon and chocolate sauce.  Didn't your mother ever make them for you on your birthday?
Pinturault: No, she made cakes for my birthdays.
BB: Red Bull happens to  have a full staff of Norwegian grandmothers whose job is to make ojlmsfjaegger for its Norwegian and part-Norwegian athletes. (slight pause)  Do you even like Red Bull?
Pinturault: No. It tastes like something that would take paint off the walls! In fact, I accidentally spilled some on a rug at home and the Red Bull burned a hole in it. I don't want to know what it will do to my stomach.  But Red Bull promised to send me to a special training center in Austria to help me learn to drink it without throwing up. (for more information about the Thalgau training center, see this story.) I heard that Adam Zampa won't have to go to the Austrian training center because he seems to drink as much Red Bull as Lindsey Vonn. In every photo he posts of himself, he has a can of Red Bull.
BB: I don't think that anyone can top Lindsey Vonn's Red Bull consumption. But Adam could be a very close second.
Pinturault: If Adam can drink borovicka (the national alcoholic drink of Slovakia), he can easily drink Red Bull. They both taste awful!
BB: Very true. Are you jealous of Adam because he has two Austrian sponsors and you only have one?
Pinturault: No. I'm glad that I don't have a bakery sponsoring me. The Red Bull is bad enough. But if I had to eat lots of bakery treats to keep my sponsor happy along with drinking Red Bull, I would be too fat to ski!
BB: I'm sure that Adam will be able to manage his diet or give all of the baked goods to his girlfriend. Speaking of unhealthy sponsors, why not go with Milka instead of Red Bull? Most women find that a box of Milka chocolates is a much more romantic gesture than a can of Red Bull.
Pinturault: Milka sponsors women. I'm sure your intrepid researchers noticed that there are Milka Girls but no Milka Boys.
BB: Of course they have! But you could be the first Milka Man and live every man's dream of being surrounded by beautiful women.
Pinturault: Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Sarka Strachova are married; Elena Curtoni and Tina Maze have boyfriends. The only single Milka Girl is Tessa Worley.
BB: Alpine skiing's current power couple, Benjamin Raich and Marlies Schild, will be retiring soon. Everyone will be wondering who their replacement would be. You and Tessa would be ideal.
Pinturault: Tessa is very sweet and everyone on the French team likes her. But our racing and training schedules would keep us apart a lot of the time. We all saw how well that worked for Aksel and Julia.
BB: You have a point, but there can be a way for things like that to work out. (pause) It looks like you didn't go with Red Bull for the ojlmsfjaegger  or because you like its taste. The French ski team has everything an athlete needs, including its own witch doctor. What can Red Bull offer you that your federation can't? 
Pinturault: My own Mafia hit man. The French Ski Federation may have a witch doctor, but it doesn't have a Mafia hit man.
BB: Why do you need a Mafia enforcer? There have not been any reports of deranged Italian men trying to touch your skis or coming to races with Alexis Pinturault voodoo dolls. You have also not received death threats.
Pinturault: That is true. Nobody tries to touch my skis or put any voodoo curses on me. But there are two reasons I would like my own Mafia hit man: Ted Ligety and Marcel Hirscher. Don't get me wrong. I like Ted and Marcel and certainly don't want to kill them.  I just want them to make a mistake in a race once in a while so I can have my share of wins too. A little talk from a Mafia hit man would be very convincing.
BB: You need to be careful about being greedy for wins. Sweden is now under a court-ordered curse this season because one of its skiers kidnapped Germany's witch doctor because she wanted to win a race. (see the end of this story.) Anyway, you are perfectly capable of beating Ted and Marcel on your own.
Pinturault: True. But think of how cool it would be to show up at races with my own Mafia enforcer. Ted may have his Shred Optics, but he doesn't have his own hit man.
BB: Since Aksel, Erik, and Adam are sponsored by Red Bull, they also have access to Red Bull's large stable of witch doctors. Aren't you the least bit concerned that all of these witch doctors will end up putting curses on you?
Pinturault: No. I won't have to worry about Erik so much because he's a speed specialist and I'm a technical racer. I am confident that Dr. Djibuku (the French ski team's witch doctor) will be able to counter any curses that the others throw at me.
BB: Are you worried about starting a Mafia gangland war? It could get rather brutal if the other Red Bull skiers decided to have their Mafia hit men go after the other racers or each other. What if every ski federation gets its own Mafia hit man in the near future? The idea of having your very own Mafia enforcer sounds cool, but the reality could be a bloodbath. Would you really want your fellow racers being caught in the crossfire?
Pinturault: Of course not! I want to win races honestly and not because my competitors were killed in a Mafia turf war.
BB: I'm sure you will win your share of races this season without the aid of a Mafia enforcer.
Pinturault: I hope so too. But it's always good to have that extra bit of insurance. And, no matter what you say, having my own Mafia hit man will exponentially increase my "coolness factor" this season.
BB: I'm sure it will. Well, it looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you for this interview and wish you a great season. Marcel, Ted, and the rest should be very worried in Soelden and in all of the other technical races. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Don't drink borovicka if you cherish your digestive tract. Stick with the ojlmsfjaegger.

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