Chit chat with Elke Cogghe

I love this internet connection, its such a great way to keep in touch with some people from other side of the world. I met Elke, two years ago at FISE. She was so good mood, so positive person, she was that year Belgian champ… I never doubt I will be the one who pushed her to try competing on international level… and now she is the champ of Chill and destroy tour… Check out her interview…

Nelly Mance:

Hey Elke, whatzup dear, long time no see, seems like ages ago…. FISE 2008 I think…

Elke Cogghe:

Exactly… it seems yesterday but I can’t believe that it’s already two years ago… well they say time flies  fast when you have fun, I didn’t change a hair… but quit a lot happened in this past two years.

Nelly Mance:

When I met you, you had break between snowboard seasons, but now you are back with full power…. From which injury you recovered? Was it hard? What helped you the most to make big step forward?

Elke Cogghe:

Well I broke my back in April 2007 on a big air, with a lot of luck (crossing my fingers) I didn’t get paralyzed. Nobody could really believe that after 2 operations and 7 months of revalidation I would jump back on my snowboard, but I did! Actually there was nothing else I could think of from the first moment they’ve put 10screws in me, to fight back and snowboard again… even when all doctors and surgeons suggested me to stop sporting. So I think what helped me the most is just my passion for snowboarding, I just can’t imagine my life without snowboarding. I started to work even harder, I broke my back because I lost control for a moment… and I just didn’t want that to happen again! It was the hardest thing I ever had to deal with, but you know what they say… time heals all wounds

Nelly Mance:

Did you get any breaks after injury? Do you think what if? What you do different now to avoid same mistake, not to loose control?

Elke Cogghe:

No it was my one and only break… but I guess when I do something I do it good. To avoid more mistakes I try to train more and get better each time I am on my board, but the most difficult part is to find a balance between your body and mind.

Believe me… recovering from a big injury is one thing but your mind that’s a whole different thing.

Sometimes you want to grow and you want to get better, but it’s difficult not be hold on due to your mind.

Nelly Mance:

How do you train between your full time job and snowboard? How your day looks like?

Elke Cogghe:

Well Belgium doesn’t have mountains, but I luckily have my indoor slope ‘Ice Mountain’… there I do the biggest part of my training… the park is open at 7 o’clock in the evening. I work till 5 so perfect to go relaxing after work on my slope.

Nelly Mance:

What about dry trainings – trampoline, gym…

Elke Cogghe:

None haha I think since my injury I’m as stiff as I can be…. my screws don’t give me a lot of space to be flexible, it’s even hard to get my socks on

Nelly Mance:

I think your mum would like to put chains for you, but your mind is harder than all chains in the world. I’m sure this brought you where you are now…. On top of all podiums…?

Elke Cogghe:

Ow I think my mom would like to nail me in my seat… I don’t think, I’m sure! Well I think I’ve always been a fighter, and I don’t give up easily. Not all podiums… that would be a dream, but I’m already happy with the few I had

Nelly Mance:

My mum too…. all mums are the same. So this few are…. ?

Elke Cogghe:

Well in 2009 I did my first international outdoor competitions, it’s actually funny but you inspired me to do that on the FISE event. In 2009 I was 2 times 1st on TTR 1star comps in Germany and a 4th place in Austria… and a 9th place on a TTR 3star in Suiss. In 2010 I became once 1st, twice 2nd and three times 3th on TTR 1star competitions in Germany and Austria and 8th on a TTR 3star in Suiss.

As you see most of the events are TTR 1 star because I still want that my snowboarding is all about fun and not about stress.

Nelly Mance:

This really surprised me a lot, being your inspiration? What did I say?

Elke Cogghe:

Haha you told me that there were a lot of TTR 1star events for girls, and that I should try it. And I guess I listened to your advise. Before I would never think that my level would be good enough for the international level… after all I’m still snowing in a indoorslope. But I was so surprised that I won my first two international comps.

Nelly Mance:

Woow, that’s so great to hear. It is big confirmation for all my believes into TTR’s stars systems. This year you rode one great tour…. and on the end…… you…. Please finish…

Elke Cogghe:

Haha I won the tour, sometimes I still don’t believe it! It was not easy because on one moment I’ve been driving 7weekends after each other to the mountains… sometimes it was 15hours in the car on Friday and Sunday. A funny thing was that some Austrian girls asked me at a moment in Warth and Shrocken if we had a long drive to the resort, and I was so enthusiastic and said no just 8 or 9 hours… it was great… they couldn’t believe there eyes. And they said well we thought we had a long drive… from half an hour

Nelly Mance:

What was the name of the tour, also TTR?

Elke Cogghe:

Chill and Destroy tour, the tour has 9 competitions from 1 to 3 star TTR

Nelly Mance:

And now…. the summer came, how you are planning to spend your vacations? Wakeboarding, Surfing or Glacier snowboarding?

Elke Cogghe:

Hm well I hope it will be a combination of these tree… I will do some cable wakeboarding in Germany; two weeks of surfing in France, and I’m still don’t know if I should do a week of glacier snowboarding or not, because I’m a little tight on my holidays.

Nelly Mance:

Haha…. Sometimes I think we’d change our salary for free days

And plan for next winter…. more stars to try out?

Elke Cogghe:

Well, I must say next season I will do less competitions. I will try to combine some comps with some cool trips. I would like to do some great trips, like going to Sweden or the USA. Still some dreams to fulfill!

Nelly Mance:

Filming and photography? I’d like to meet you somewhere on the hill to get some new pics with you and your new sponsor Vans?

Elke Cogghe:

Well I hope we will meet again on a snowboard or wakeboard… that would be great!

Nelly Mance:

Who else except Vans helps you a lot with your trips?

Elke Cogghe:

Well, off course all my sponsors support me a lot with their equipment (Vans, Capita, Spy, Union, Bern, Ice Mountain) and I want to thank them for that… without them I wouldn’t had the chance to get so far in snowboarding. But for my trips my only sponsor is my hard work, I pay all my trips myself.

Nelly Mance:

Who knows…. maybe you get surprised by some in next years. I cross you fingers for that.

Advice for all girls in “men’s” sport…. Beat my words please…

Elke Cogghe:

Haha first of all snowboarding is as much a girls sport as a men sport! And the girls are rocking… so just stay rocking girls! I will take this moment to say thanks to my Belgium girls: Faye Vandewalle en Sophie Segers and my German girls: Pia Gärtner, Jojo Bum, Jana Eichorn… for rocking together with me the past seasons… and bring a smile on my face each time I see them again!

Nelly Mance:

Thank you Elke for incredible interview…. incredible advices…Is there anything you would like to add on the end of it?

Elke Cogghe:

Well I want to give my boy Michiel Pintens a special thanks  he supports me day after day… he pushes me and gives me great advice in snowboarding… and it’s just great to have him next to me!

Nelly Mance:

One more thing…. Boardforce means for you…

Elke Cogghe:

A lot! Since I know it I check it almost daily… wakeboarding is the watersport the most close to snowboarding in my opinion. So the site brings two great worlds together, and it gives the attention to the sports that it deserves! Sometimes the world forgets that sport is more than soccer and cycling, and Boardforce is sending that message in the world! It’s in my favorites, and everybody should put it in his or her favorites!

Thanks Nelly for your great support!!!! I will send you some pics tomorrow!

Nelly Mance:

Thanks Elke, have nice sleep and thanks for nice words…. Look forward for the photos…

Written by Nelly Mance, copyright www.boardforce.net

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