Capitalizing on the friendly cooperation with Slovakian friends (Vlado Hrehor, Miro Strkolec, Martin Hyska, Roman Murin, Zoltan Baron, Igor Vlha…), we got the information and the friendly welcome to participate in their very well organized and high-standard national cup races. These were sort of international races, as some kids came to take part also from Poland and Ukraine. I became the regular Hungarian, representing Bankut Ski Club, Miskolc from 2005 through 2010, skipping only the most remote located races or the ones, that later coincided with some other races of Hungarian interest.
My first serious Slovakian Cup race in Vysna Boca 2005 – The girls’ races were usually won by Petra Vlhova mostly before Katka Miklosova… A good reference now for the Slovak races…
Our local ski team in Bankut got stronger with more kids joining us. My father continued to work passionately and on a strictly voluntary basis. The only requirement for the members of our Bankut Racing Team was dedication and regular participation. Actually, I was the one who had no excuse to miss any training or race, but my father had to go some lengths to persuade others to join us to races in Slovakia. It was not a recreational activity. We had to start very early before day-break (usually at 4 – 5 AM) to get to the course by 7-ish AM and return to Hungary directly after complete skiing day, including the training right after the conclusion of the race.
Slovakian Cup race in Certovica, 2005.. Faster than the camera could catch… and the regular and exhausting, but funny after-race free training until closing time.
This was even tougher, when we had to find some private accommodation in a village somewhere if the race was organized for two consecutive days. It was hard, but I did not recognize any hardship spending all the travelling time fast asleep in the back seat. For us skiing started when the lifts opened and was finished when they were closed. “First in, last out” as my friend, David Kutas keeps saying it, being written on my new skis too… Even more, if my last turn was not perfect, the regular routine was even extended by some climbing back to correct the mistake before getting the skis off. Analyzing the digital photos at the lift line or on the chair lift was a sacred routine, and the air was filled with loud instructions from the side of the course or even from behind in a chase, reminding us of the technical detail we had to concentrate on. “Perfection and obsession“. Maybe that was the motto of my father, which I completely accepted, because it was wrapped in lots of fun during the day.
Slovakian Cup in Sahticky and Tale. Humble preparation and results, as yet… But hard training…
GS training with easy-to set-stubbies in Spisske Bystre, Slovakia, 2005. After the course was set, my brother got into the bag and was carried along the slope by my parents…
The ski season in 2005 turned out to be very long with a lot of snow also at home. So we could go training quite often after school or during the week-ends on our home slopes in Bankut. This period turned out to be the most efficient in my technical development. Also, skiing at home in Bankut has some special feeling and atmosphere! Homeliness, friendliness and some retro fashion… There are some YouTube videos about my skiing there…, but now here are the photos of the hard training activity on the No.1 course in Bankut:
With my best training partner and coach, my dad in Bankut, 2005. Difference in age is 35 years, time difference on course was not so much…then. But now it may be more, just the opposite way…
National Day, 15th March, 2005. Of course, in Bankut! My baby brother is getting the hang of it at Mom’s back. Ski family in action. We only miss Kékesi Granddad, who just physically left us…
This was the start to spend all the Summer with structured training program executed at home (Mályi), by and large, imitating skiing movements in an athletic field (course running and jumping), on roller skates and on water ()windsurfing) too.
Neither Summers are a waste of time for young skiers…
However, those who are looking for it, can find snow also in Summer or Autumn. Our ski team had the first glacier ski camp in Stubai in Oct-Nov. 2005. That was another mile stone. The team had already acquired a uniform appearance and the kids were all super motivated. There was a report on us in the local newspaper too:
The Bankut Racing Team – the “Smurfs”. Eager to go in the morning and tired when returning.
After the glacier training our team was ready to change the gear up and started the season with more determination at the Slovak Cup races:
Participation with the core of our team at the Slovak Cup race in Certovica, 2006.
Almost the whole team participating in the Slovak Cup race in Vysna Boca, 2006
Our efforts were acknowledged in 2006 by a modest sponsorship from a touristic agency “CarTour” offering an occasional accommodation in Austria and the race insurance for us free. Even if it did not mean much and did not last long, we were really proud. In return, we decorated our helmets and cars with their stickers and organised a national race in Bankut. It was a “Kekesi Antal” memorial event dedicated to my grand-dad, former coach, head of team, president of County Ski Association and a long-time motor of the local and national ski racing community, who passed away the previous year.
The “Kékesi Antal” Memorial Race in Bankut, 2006 (a Hungarian National Cup event).
As this winter was again strong, we had good training opportunities also on week days at our home resort, Bankut.
Afternoon training – extending into the evening – in Bankut, (Retro resort and inherited retro car)
In 2006, after more Slovakian Cup performance and after some local races in Bankut, we appeared at the Hungarian National Championships for children, in Austria. At my age of 11, I could win the the slalom in the age group 12-14, with GS skis (because there was no slalom for children under 12)… So I became a Hungarian champion at once, and my father dived under the snow with joy (and because of a bet).
Racing at my first National Championships, and training hard after the race at the same slope.
Hungarian Alpine Ski Championships , SL, 2006 (age 11) (in group 12-14), St.Lambrecht, Austria.
Bankut Racing Ski Team dominated in the children’s categories at the National Champ’s.
These years gave us the real basis and incentive to continue even more seriously. Now I had some surprise results, confirming, that we were on the right track. Our simple conditions, offering only home snow and nearby Slovak facilities and partnership may have been just as efficient as those offered for more well-to-do rivals living and studying in Austria. Shortages in our resources were compensated by enthusiasm besides analytical knowledge of the ski sport and training principles, family traditions and experience. With our few skiing days affordable, we had to push much skiing into each of them. Surely that was not an ideal way, but I understood we had no choice, and my father wanted to prove his rather unorthodox training methods. It worked, and not only with me, but the other kids (Vivien Matiscsák – now studying in Austria, Kata Ráckövesi – now a model, Dalma Dávidházy – now studying economics in Budapest, Zalán Zelena – now a medical student in Budapest, Ádám Tóth – now studying in Denmark, Zsolt Szabó – now a Zengő Sport WTCC racer and strudying vehicle engg. in Budapest, Tas Braidwood – now living in Finland) on our team were motivated and successful. Serious work was wrapped in pure enjoyment. The fun factor was really there, especially, when we were training together, as a happy and voluntary team.