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How does he live 16 years after his triumph at the Olympics, when does his wife Elen prefer to throw him out of the house, but also about what is perhaps waiting for him after death.

Fast confession - Aleš Valenta: My Wife IS Throwing Me Out of the House

Barbora Hlaváčková
06.Feb 2018
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7 minutes

A laid-back guy who lives his dream. That is how Aleš Valenta describes himself. The Olympic champion in acrobatic skiing in Salt Lake City likes cringe-inducing things and with that feeling he also started his leap at that time. "It will either click or I will embarrass myself." He is going to enjoy the forthcoming Olympics working as a presenter. But at home in front of the television he will also cheer our teams. 

It has been 16 years since won gold at the Olympics, and people keep coming back to it. Doesn´t it make you fed up already?

Not at all. I see it in a way that in my life and in the lives of sports fans it is one of the highlights of Czech sport. I am not insulted at all. I am a person who does not live through the past, but I try to live through the present and future. Nevertheless, one builds on the past, so on the contrary, I am rather delighted that people still perceive it. For me it is positive to see even now how it made people happy. It happens to me that people come to me now and say how they enjoyed it and how much they wanted to congratulate me, but that I wasn´t around so they congratulate me after those 16 years, which is super.

Prodej luxusní vily, Praha 4 - Kunratice
Prodej luxusní vily, Praha 4 - Kunratice, Praha 4

 Do you still draw from that success? Even after 16 years, does it still open doors for you?

Still. It helps me to get various work opportunities.

Now you are the presenter. It started through presenting a sports radio programme. Did it at that time come out of the blue?

I have never in my life had and presenting ambitions. I have never even been that type of a ski jumper - exhibitionist. I was able to do a show in the sense that I was jumping for the people. But I wouldn´t take the microphone and for example present the show, I didn´t even have it in me. And when the offer came from the radio, when I first got the phone call, I first thought that they are calling because I do sports marketing. At that time I already had the Acrobat Park, so I thought that they would like some cooperation based on sports marketing, to do some events and so on. And with such a vision I went into the radio to a meeting. And when they offered me to be a presenter I told myself, why not. I have no problem with becoming embarrassed. Really. For me it is much better to embarrass myself, having tried something, than not to try it at all and in a few years to say that it is a pity that I haven't gone for it.

There aren´t many people who do not mind to voluntarily embarrass themselves...

That is because I don´t have that natural block like most people who say to themselves: "I better not do it, what if I am embarrassing." I don´t mind that cringe, because it is only part of some learning. We are all embarrassing when we are learning something at first, when we are getting started. For example you, when you begun to ride a snowboard, you haven´t been a superstar. So I take on a new thing as a challenge.

The radio is perhaps the best presenting school. Maybe thanks to that you stuck to it, even though it is not on the radio any more...

For me it was at a certain moment a necessity to leave the radio. Mainly because I was missing more often than when I was actually there. But I miss it. It is similar to being an athlete, working out in the gym. For a presenter the radio is a daily training. You simply have to talk whether you feel like it or not, whether you have a flu or not, you simply have to. And I miss that. Sometimes I miss the radio.

Would you manage the time now, with your workload?

No. I'm busy with television work and other presenting activities. At the moment I cannot imagine how I would manage it all. 

Vila na prodej - Klánovice - 465m
Vila na prodej - Klánovice - 465m, Praha 9

Who is actually Aleš Valenta now? How would you describe yourself at the beginning of 2018?

I am always a relaxed guy who lives his dream. And my primary job responsibility is presenting.

Where can we see you as a presenter?

Me and my wife Elen regularly shoot a children´s sports magazine Lvíčata(Lion Cubs) that runs on Déčko channel at the weekend, every Saturday. We devote several days a week to that. And most importantly I am now facing the Olympics. I will be from its beginning at the Olympic festivals. First in Brno, then in Ostrava. There I will have every day a ten-minute moment of glory when I will shoot live broadcasts for Déčko. And that will be quite demanding. It does not seem so, but ten minutes on live television is not a little.

Presenting is therefore your main source of income?

It is in a combination. I make my living through presenting, but I also have entrepreneurial activities - my sports centre and also properties - I rent out several apartments. Thanks to that I have a huge advantage that I do not have to do presenting for money, or rather at any price. Sometimes I get an offer that doesn´t interest me, so I don´t accept it, because I am not pressed to pay the bills from presenting. So I can choose. But on the other hand, as far as presenting goes, I only avoid balls.

Why just balls, exactly?

A have presented a few and I never had a feeling that the people there would have enjoyed the presenting. They are there for a different reason. They want to dance, they want to have a good time, and when a presenter comes on stage, he interrupts the music to say something, and actually it bothers them. Moreover, I feel that it perhaps more than half of the men there go because they have been pressed into it, because the wives want to dance. So, presenting there doesn´t give me any feedback. I like when I am presenting when the people are part of it, when we are engaged. And I miss that at balls. But perhaps it is just something that I am not good at.

How do you cope with the role of a father whose children are entering puberty?

They come to the age when the more duties you put on them the more they hate you. Or, not hate, really, but simply the revolt is there. But I hope I manage it well.

Do they go in your footsteps?

They like the mountains, they do sports. Amelie likes figure-skating, Denis plays ice hockey. And I like to take them to the mountains. They both ride a snowboard and ski. Me too, so we like to enjoy it.

What about cross-country skiing?

I don´t like cross-country skis. I do not have good experience even as far back as from my elementary school when we went for a skiing course and I didn´t wax them and they were too long. Of course I couldn´t do it then, I kept falling head first and it was at that time such a traumatic experience that since then it is something I don´t need to do. But my wife Elen wants it, she enjoys it, but only when there is snow here in Prague and sunshine at the same time.

Can it be said that you are a sports enthusiast?

I would say an addict even. When I don´t do sports, I am a bit unpleasant. The energy accumulates inside of me and at that moment I start rearranging the kitchen cupboards. Suddenly I notice that the cups should be elsewhere and so on. That is when Elen throws me out and I have to do some sport.

Which sports do you do now except skiing and snowboarding?

When I ended my active career I started to play ice hockey. Now I play five, sometimes six times a week.

You a versatile athlete, except that is for cross-country skiing. What gave you the basis when you were little; what can you be grateful for?

Gymnastics. It develops flexibility, mainly in children, and spatial orientation. Perhaps apart from running, and endurance, gymnastics is a good basis for everything.

Do you also watch sports, passively? Do you looking forward to the upcoming Olympics from this point of view, too?

I am completely normal man, so I like to watch sports, mainly on those where there is our sportsman. But for example with hockey I watch the finals too, and we are not there. I enjoy skiing disciplines and speed skating too.

Do you feel some nostalgia? Perhaps even at the very beginning of the Olympics, because you were once a flag bearer of our expedition?

There is absolutely no nostalgia. I´ve been to a total of three Olympics and I went to the launch only when I was a flag bearer. But the initial ceremonies are quite boring for an athlete. You wait terribly long before the start, then it takes place, then you go to sit, you watch the start from afar and you are cold. When you watch it on TV it is a far more interesting spectacle. And in addition to me the initiation of Olympics seems like that it is such a show of power of the organiser and that doesn´t click with me.

That legendary jump at the 2002 Olympics - a triple front flip with five twists - has never been achieved again. Is it still just you who managed it?

Still. Nobody else managed it on snow, that is, not this specific combination. It really is very difficult. It is still on the edge of human capabilities.

How did you psychically go through your sports downfall, a time when things didn´t go well, mainly due to health problems?

It didn´t crush me. The life of an athlete is about winning and defeat and in this sense I have always been balanced. I will take something away from failures as well, mostly something positive and life goes on.

Did you take even the complete end of your sporting career with such grace?

My body then hurt all over and I was tired of travel and I wanted to be at home. I had a pile of other activities, I was starting Acrobat Park, so I have seamlessly transferred to normal life.

So now you travel again?

I don´t travel anywhere any more, I am at home. For me, an aircraft has become a flying bus. During my career it was associated with stress, I had to be on time everywhere, I was endlessly worried about losing my luggage because most of my things which I needed for sport were in there. Now I enjoy travelling back and forth because I know that it will be ok. I go twice a year somewhere with my family and then to the mountains, trips here, around the Czech Republic. But when I go on holiday I look for the warmth most of all.

Once you said that you will relax once you die...

It is indeed so.

Do you believe that then you will be at peace? What if there is life after life?

It is a difficult subject. I believe in the energy that is here. And I also believe that it will not disappear. When a person dies, that energy that is inside of him; some call it a soul, that I believe will not disappear. That it will just move to a different place. But where, that is the question.

Are you a DIY man?

Bigger and bigger as the time passes. I began to tinker with things because I was made to, when it was necessary in the house or garden, and it is now that I am enjoying it terribly. I made pavements around the pool, a composter, an insect house - that kind of hotel for insects or a house for a hedgehog. I also have a workshop, that is now my kingdom.

Fast confession:

Models or athletes?

Models as well as athletes?

How often do you currently go skiing?

I´ve been yesterday.

Your favourite TV series?

The Big Bang Theory.

How are you satisfied with our President?

I am not satisfied with our President.

Where would you live if you decided to leave the Czech Republic?

In Hawaii.

What do you not like about travelling?

I don´t like the travelling about travelling.

A blond, brunette or a red head?

I don´t care.

What kind of clothing do you like on your wife?

Everything and nothing.

What can you cook the best?

The best I can cook burgers, spaghetti, salad, a lot of things.

What is easier - to grease skis well or tune into the race?

The best is a combination of both.

What is your best way to relax?

Doing nothing, relaxing.

What can you not do without?

I cannot do without my family.

How do you recharge your energy?

I recharge by sport.

What or to whom do you always change channels on your radio?

I switch off stupid songs.
The interviewee asks the Editor:

Would you sometimes ever shave your head?

Fibbing. You wouldn´t.
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