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Aurélie Bouvet

This is truly an outstanding game. Where else can you find THE most prominent professional team of a sport managed by a young attractive lady? In Hollywood films, most likely! Besides, she’s not only good looks: this French woman knows her skating, granted; and showed for years that she can slap world champion’s faces with a velvet glove and iron fist. MMCmicro Salomon Team did not overwhelmingly won the 2006 WIC just because it’s got the best skaters in the world, you know?

In all probability, they also got the best manager available… or at least, the one that’s more agreeable to receive orders from! After the Berlin Marathon, we had the pleasure of stalking her and pin her down for an interview that we really looked after. Here's our conversation:

Have you ever read one of our interviews?
I’m sorry, I haven’t.
So you don’t know what to expect, do you?
Er… not really.
Good! Let’s start then: do you realize your French accent is quite a turn on?
Is it?
Beaucoup! Now, yours is an unusual situation: managing 5 young Italian stallions must be truly hard for a nice lady. Tell us how it works: do you guys have orgies all together, or do you rather pick, say, two or three at a time to have sex with?
(keeping her cool). Well, as you know, to succeed in any business for a woman is very difficult, so we must have sex with the people we need to control. Besides, as a team we share everything: one for all and all for one.
Thought so. Now that the ice was broken, seriously…
I hope so!
Aren’t you guys tired of winning all the time?
No! Being a team of 5 Italian guys and a French woman, we need to keep winning. It’s our nature. What’s more, a triumph for the team makes us all proud; we try to keep focused on getting as much victories for ourselves and for the sponsor. They trained and worked so much to win, that success is the natural result.
Oh, cut the crap, dear. It’s a question of money too, of course.
Yeah. The guys are young and put their entire lives on the sport, so they need the money. I can’t pay them as much as I would like, so for sure they want to get as much as they can in every race.
Massi (passing by, smiling) seems not to agree with that.
Oh right! He doesn’t race for the money (ironic tone), he’s just happy to be in the team with me!
I would too! Listen, are you (or were you) a racer?
Yes, I competed at national level; recently I raced the One Eleven. It’s quite useful to be (or have been) an athlete to understand what’s going on in management. So yes, I’m a racer, and skating is my life.
You have been managing big teams for some time now, have you?
I started three years ago with RolleBlade World Team. Last year I began my experience with Salomon, although it was quite a different team, most of them French skaters. It was an interesting experience, witnessing three really different ways to train and race, such dissimilar mentalities. I’ve learnt a lot during these past years, I’m able to compare now and I know why my team is the best I’ve ever seen.
It was a good season, wasn’t it?
Actually it was surprising for me. I was able to watch them train together, work so hard, always keeping a positive attitude and maintaining great team spirit… They really deserve their success.
What’s the future of the team, now that Salomon quits the sport?
We will try to find a way to keep this winning team together next season without Salomon. The other partners are with us, so we will see.
But you might have to get rid of one of them, if new WIC’s rule of 4 skaters per team is to be applied next year…
Yes, Coni (Altherr) wants a skater less in all the teams for costs reasons. I don’t know if it’s the best solution, perhaps there will be no more teams even if we have 4 skaters instead of 5. But we will see, it’s not decided yet.
Well, money-wise it seems a logical solution, don’t you think?
Everybody has the feeling that things are going pear-shaped now, so yes, it seems a logical solution to have one skater less in every team. Let’s hope for the best.
Ok, define shortly each one of your guys.
I didn’t know them at the beginning of the season… I hold my horses then, not wanting to have preconceptions or wrong opinions about them. I was surprised to find out how nice they are!
Massi is the most experienced skater in the World Cup, but you can find him joking and playing as a baby. He is as serious as it needs to be when working, but a really joyful guy outside the professional environment.
His brother Luca was even more surprising, really really nice. Not shy, but short of it. Always looking to do the best job.
Pier Davide can be an angel or a devil, he has two sides in his way to race, in his way to act.
Francesco is a kind, sweet man, but perhaps he needs to have more confidence in his abilities and to trust more his feelings.
Luca, well… Still young and very talented, but he needs to learn English!

As well as Italian, some might say…
Haha! No, really, being an elite athlete he needs to communicate better with the other skaters and especially with media, so he really need English lessons. He’s the best sprinter of the World!
Excuse me: that would be a Mr Mantia, perhaps.
Well, we don’t know since there has not been a direct challenge between them yet. I really would like to see a final sprint between the two guys!

Look! A hard on! Shut up and smile, merde!

We too! Do you do all the pictures and reports that appear in the team’s official website? >>
Yes, I do.
Well done. And what else are you supposed to do as a team manager?
Marketing development for all our partner’s products, then I take care of the partners’ relationships, communication & media, overseeing the guy’s training…
Washing socks and briefs, ironing uniforms, cooking meals…
…And keeping the non-married team mates sexually active ;)
Excusez moi? My Lord! Give me a French female team manager!
Haha! That might be expensive...

Merci, cherie! A la prochaine...

Coni Altherr
Elias Del Valle