Florence Masnada (F.M.), French alpine skier, a two-time Olympic medallist, who notably became a commentator on the World Cup and the World Alpine Ski Championships on Eurosport.
MONACŒCOART®: Florence Masnada, I know that you have always been sensitive to respect the environment, where does the feeling come from?
F.M.: It certainly comes from the family environment where I grew up. My father had been constantly immersed in Nature. He loved doing trekking and camping. We were from a small village in the region of Provence. Since I was a child, then, I have been fond of natural environment and the sea as well as the mountains. We also used to raise animals with special regard to dogs. All that made me nature-lover and soon after eco-responsible. The sport discipline I specialised in is not the most environmentally friendly sport despite been mainly in direct contact with the environment.
MONACŒCOART®: Can the practice of this sport contribute to the increase of eco-responsibility? What is the urgent need?
F.M.: There is currently some actions to improve the situation, but it is not enough. It would be necessary to change the rules of training and professional competitions. We should turn the page in a single solution. Starting from the annual calendar of ski championships and the locations, between Europe and North America, most of many of which require the use of the plane to participate. It would be smart to group races in places close to each other in order to reduce the impact of transport emissions. Effectively, I could witness the significant reduction of French glaciers. I could realise it at Tignes ski station I often visit. For those who live in the mountains is a real shock since most thought that ice was almost eternal. The mountain ecosystem has therefore changed accordingly with serious consequences. Local communities witness climate-change effects live.
MONACŒCOART®: You are also an ambassador for Peace and Sport having taken concrete actions to fight climate change. What does this mean for you?
F.M.: I have been supporting the Water Family for a while. It is a quite active association and foundation operating in Biarritz, in Bretagne and in the Alpes, launched about ten years ago. Our main mission is to promote educational programmes in schools on major environmental issues. We have focused for example on increasing awareness of the importance of the water resource or in fighting against plastic pollution. A whole range of essential good practices to bring a sustainable change involving first of all the new generation that is the future. I take courses myself with role games, field visits and some fun to encourage students’ contemplation and observation of Nature.
MONACŒCOART®: What is the most important sporting value for you?
F.M.: For me it’s very simple: it is passion. The passion of practicing sport, the passion of sharing experiences with others and exchange knowledge. Through this value you can pass important messages and achieve a positive change. ***
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By Maurice Abbati