I had the pleasure of being hired on contract by the brilliant S-Media to film episodes for SkiTV.
As I watched the mountainous, Switzerland come into view from the airplane window, a flood of nostalgia swept over me. Switzerland: my second homeland. So many of my technicolor childhood memories had taken place here. Yet, despite numerous visits during my lifetime, I felt the excitement of new discovery. I was about to look at Switzerland through a whole new lens; exploring its skiing roots.
Travelling with SkiTV, our task was to show the world just what Switzerland has to offer the serious skier. Ski culture in Switzerland runs deep. The Swiss are fanatical about their sport. The way Canadians love to strap on their skates for a game of hockey, the Swiss love heading to the mountains for a day- and they have some serious mountains! Every window of the hotel offered another breathtaking view of the Swiss Alps.
The outstanding scenery was just a foretaste of what we were to experience during our stay. Swiss Tourism, our hosts for this venture, hadn’t missed a single detail. Visuals to tell a sports’ story are top priority in Europe and as a result, we were treated like royalty. Our itinerary was laid out with Swiss precision, allowing us to focus on the creative side of production, without having to focus our energy on the minor logistics that often take up valuable daylight hours. Every stop, every meal, every detail they arranged was near perfection. From the meals cooked by a Michelin star chef, to the clean, contemporary designs of their 4-star hotels, to the stunning natural environment, Switzerland was taking my breath away.
Zermatt, the mountain resort world-famous for its skiing, is a pivotal location in Swiss ski culture. The town, which sits 1,600m above sea level, is nestled below the iconic, Matterhorn Mountain: the most photographed mountain in the world.
It was in Zermatt that I had my first opportunity to act as a SkiTV producer. Exploring Bahnhofstrasse, the town’s main street, we took in the boutique shops, elegant restaurants, bustling hotels and outdoor ice rinks. Then we took to the alps once again. I strapped on my skis and my camera and continued to capture some of the world’s premiere skiing.
Although I really missed my family back home in Canada, the entire trip felt like a homecoming of sorts. At the end of my time in Switzerland I was able to visit my Nonna in hospital, and cousins made the journey to catch up as well. This trip was a uniting of so many things I love: family, sport and my art; it’s not one I’ll soon forget.
Content director and contributor: Jennie Hoekstra