Murat Pelit Interview

Murat Pelit Interview

Murat Pelit, a member of the Swiss Paralympic Ski Team, is a World Cup athlete. Following a malignant tumor to the sacrum, he remained with an incomplete paraplegia, but thanks to his strong determination he never gave up and launched himself in the adventure of the Paralympic ski, obtaining important results.

Hi Murat, tell us a little about yourself, who are you and where do you come from?

I am Murat Pelit from Stabio, I am 36 years old and since few years ago I am VF International Ambassador.


You’ve always been an Outdoor sports fan, after having discovered your illness, a malignant tumor to the sacred bone, what motivated you to pursue your desires?

Before the illness, I really liked doing sports, being outdoors, especially in the mountains, and even the profession that I did, the forest service, lent itself very well to my lifestyle. When the doctors discovered that I had this disease, I immediately committed to wanting to go back to my mountains because I didn’t want to miss something. This was the greatest strength, wanting to come back every time, after every operation, to do what I loved.


For How long did you stay at the hospital?

It’s now been fifteen years since they discovered my illness. Of these 15 years, I can say that I spent at least 7/8 in the hospital, which I spent a whole year in bed. To date, I count over 80 operations, so I had a lot of time to reflect. It seems obvious, but the fact to see the mountains outside the window of my room in the hospital, was a great help for me.


Did you already know that you would then practice professional ski-bob? Where did you find the strength to react that made you say: “Ok I can do it”.

In reality everything was born a bit by chance. After they finished the operation, they made me sit on a wheelchair and took me to this rehab center where they taught you to do anything with this unknown medium. I was in the gym and I heard of the boys, who had been there for months, talking about a chance to ski and I was stunned: “but how to ski, how can you ski” and from there I discovered the monoski, I asked if I could try it and two doctors had really denied it to me. No longer having the column tied to the pelvis and being full of metals, it was the most discouraged thing and they had suggested me to find another sport. After two months and a half that I had left the center, I had spent the summer and the following winter, I had bought by myself the ski-bob, I had taken courses and during the first course I had observed some athletes and asking who they were I had been told that they were part of the Swiss Paralympic National Ski Team and they had asked me if I was interested. I answered yes and started to train to reach my new goal.


“This was the greatest strength, wanting to come back every time, after every operation, to do what I loved”.

“What I always say is that behind every ugly moment of life there are 100 beautiful moments, every suffering situation, strengthens you and makes you appreciate much more beautiful things”.

How many times do you train in a week?

Now being in the World Cup, let’s say that on 7 days at least 4/5 I dedicate them to training. As for the summer preparation let’s say that I also practice other sports such as bike, wakeboard, I go a bit in the gym and I do physiotherapy every day. It is a continuous training. In winter, the physical activities are practically reduced and I ski every day. For me, the week is to stay on the slopes.


You are Swiss, so tied to your mountains, but if you had to choose your favorite place, what would it be?

I am totally kidnapped by the East, especially from Vietnam, with whom I have a special affection as i’ m a vice president of a humanitarian association. This world fascinates me a lot because they are able to find the perfect balance between technology and tradition and for now I have visited Vietnam and Cambodia and I’m planning a trip to Japan.


What advice would you give to people who may have found themselves facing a similar situation?

What I always say is that behind every bad moment of life there are 100 beautiful moments. Every suffering situation, strengthens you and makes you appreciate more beautiful things. Life has to go on and luckily there are many good things.


In your career as an athlete, has there ever been a time when you thought you could not do it?

No, I never really thought I would not make it because when I set a goal, I do anything to try and reach it. There have been moments of discouragement, those yes, when you think that they did not want us, perhaps linked to some fracture, to some operation that had slowed me down … but I always try to stay positive.

We know that you are very involved in the social, are you thinking about new projects?

I’ m a vice president of a humanitarian association, the Esperance Acti, which I follow practically every day and we have several projects in Indochina and especially in Vietnam, where we go to build schools, wells, bridges, infirmaries and now they have been going on for many years. Regarding one of my biggest passions, fishing, I am part of a very important association of Ticino, of which I am secretary and we deal with various activities among which the fishes repopulation. Let’s say that together, they keep me very active.


What kind of emotions did you feel when you arrived in Korea? And how did you prepare yourself to face the competition? How did you manage to calm your thoughts and fears before a race?

I start from the 15th of January, when I broke my wrist and I was really scared of not being able to participate anymore in the Paralympics. Two weeks after the injury, the doctors gave me their consent and for me that was a moment of real joy. After facing a 12-hour flight and after arriving at the Olympic village, all the tiredness we had suddenly vanished. Once you are there with so many athletes of the highest level, you realize that you are rewarded with all the work you have done over the past four years and it’ s a beautiful feeling. I couldn’t partecipate at the downhill race because of the broken wrist, but I participated in the Super G race first and Combined later, but in both I fell. It was my first Paralympics and for me it was really very difficult, I did not think I would feel such great emotions and I think that my emotional excitement has played me a bit bad. One of the most beautiful things was having a group of 11 friends, who came from Switzerland to cheer for me and although I had a bit ‘of bitterness, disappointment for the results not achieved, their incitement was a great help. Now I am working for China, I have another four years to redeem myself and in this long period there will be two World Cups and so I will try to focus on these new goals.