Want to know how you write the future? If you’re Vali Höll it goes a little bit like this:
1 — Have fun with it. Before the world knew her name, Vali was already making impressions with the global mountain biking heads of state. If you watched her ride when she was barely even a teenager, Vali had something special — a riding style that was playful and creative. She never met a trail obstacle that didn’t instantly send her skyward and help show off her style.
2 — Be patient. In the years before she was able to compete in the junior category, Vali was lapping downhill tracks with times that rivaled or flat out destroyed the times of older and more experienced riders. But while it would have been easy to get lost in so many “someday” scenarios, Vali stayed in the present, and once given the chance to put down race runs on the same tracks as the sport’s heroes, she gave it full gas, every time.
3 — Do the work. Race runs only take a few minutes. Podium celebrations are even shorter. But the hours of testing and bike setup and training and learning… the work of a would-be champion is what makes those race runs and podium appearances really special. It’s the stuff she doesn’t always want to do that ultimately keeps Vali in the spotlight.
4 — Be humble. Winning is always about the now — it’s seldom about past history. But her respect for the champions that have come before her and a respectful understanding that merely standing on the podium alongside the sport’s legends will be victory itself.
5 — Have fun with it. If you know the first thing about mountain biking you can see that Vali has fun on her bike. It’s fun that shines brightly each and every time she puts her wheels on dirt. It’s fun that manifests itself in phenomenal race runs and infectious smiles. And it’s a kind of fun that makes you want to be just like her.
Video by Mind Spark Cinema. Photos by Boris Beyer. Words by Joe Parkin.