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Guro is one of Georgia’s freeski pioneers and knows the Caucasus mountains like the back of his hand

Name: Guram Vashakmadze (Guro)
Age: 22
City: Tbilisi/Gudauri.

How was it to grow up in Georgia?
I grew up in the area of the ski resort Gudauri during the time of the civil war and political instability of Georgia. At that time Gudauri appeared to be an island of peace and joy in the ocean of wrath. The mountains gave me a lot of good childhood memories and I’m very thankful for that. Especially when I think about what my generation and the older people had to go through.

What does skiing mean to you?
I am a very competitive person and I am constantly trying to prove myself, not only in skiing. For me, skiing is a lifetime competition, because I always want to get better, it’s a daily battle with myself. I feel that there are no real borders which could limit your abilities. Unless you are not trying to overcome gravitation, haha!

Why did you choose this career?
I did not really choose it, I just grew up and into it. Maybe it was meant to be like this? I don’t know, I just know that there was no exact moment when I decided to follow my passion. This passion existed since I started skiing, but unfortunately it is not my real job at the moment.

What are you most passionate about and what makes you happy?
I am passionate about being a member of a team and the spirit and energy which come with it. Belonging to a group of people on whom I can rely in any moment is a very special feeling. I used to play rugby and I still admire this sport. It’s not always the better team that wins, the mental connection between the players and if they want to go the extra mile for each other decides the game. Team spirit is about respect, support and honesty. These three things are one of the most important values for me.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
I am the result of the things I’ve done in the past and the decisions I made and I am proud of myself and my past life with its own good and bad parts. I do not regret any „bad“ decisions, because that’s actually where a lot of valuable experiences come from. It’s very important to make certain experience, without these it is hard to grow up to be to a successful person.

What is freedom to you?
Freedom is what makes it possible to call ourselves reasonable beings – humans. If there would be no ability to free ourselves from our desires, be independent in making decisions, considering all the results they could lead us to, we would just be the slaves of our own desires. To be free from yourself is the most important part.

What is love?
Love is given to us by the ultimate power and gives us the ability to express acts of pure kindness. Love is the most sacred feeling a human can have. Things done with motivation of love have no background intentions. ”

How do you spend most of your free time?
I always try to be as close to nature as possible. It is the only way to get rid of the urban routine and social manipulations, which have negative influences on us humans. Mother Nature is where we come from and where we go after our death.

What does money mean to you?
I want to be honest with you, I’m not a person who demonises money. Money gives us the possibility to follow our deram and things we are passionate about. It helps us to be independent from others, to have a chance to do something good for our families, friends or even people we don’t know. It is not important what money means for me or what it actually is – more important is the the way you earn it and the purpose you spend for.

The article was published in the RedBull

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