He is as widely known as the Hahnenkamm Race. Everyone in Kitzbühel knows Olly and Olly knows everyone. His mother tongue is English, his Tyrolian Accent is reasonable - but Sarcasm is the language he’s most familiar with. Olly is the embodiment of Englishness, of being funny, sarcastic, polite as well as never saying no to a good night out. The past five seasons he has spent in Kitzbühel made him be an important part of the ski town - his fame is comparable to Hansi Hinterseer’s and the similarities are striking: women love him, he is avid about skiing and he has got an angel like voice - you should not miss the opportunity to listen to him sing at one of The Londoner’s karaoke nights. Apart from being an extremely capable ski instructor he also holds the position of being head of Kitzbühel’s Boardgame-Club as well as the „Dogs and Cats over human-beings“-Association!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Amersham, Last stop on the Met Line just outside London. Still return to ‘The Shire’ to visit my family when i get time!
Can you remember your first time skiing?
I sometimes struggle to remember what day of the week it is, so recalling my first skiing experience when i was 3 is sadly not something i can do, I’m sure i loved it though!
How did you end up in Kitzbühel?
After deciding to take a gap year before university, i began research for a ski season. I did a google search and ended up spontatneously signing up for an Anwärter course beginning 2 weeks later at the Kitzsteinhorn. Besides meeting many interesting people from all over Europe, I also got to know one of the trainers on the course; Ben Hensley. Through him I ended up working a season for element 3 and forgot to go to uni so kept coming back over and over! I am now on my 5th season and live in Kitzbühel full time.
If you weren’t a ski instructor what would you do now?
I was initially planning on studying engineering of some kind when i returned from my gap year. Sport has always been my real passion though and i am also a tennis coach in summer so I can’t really see myself working outside of sports at this stage of my life! Maybe something to do with coding if i ever injure myself too badly but i have not put much thought into it yet.
Summer or Winter?
Winter. Skiing. Does any more need to bed said on this matter?
Ever tried Snowboarding? How was it?
Indeed i have. For me skiing will always be better but snowboarding is still fun, especially in powder! Also any excuse to visit the mountains is good as far as i am concerned. Having said that, obviously when i am skiing then they need to leave my mountain alone and get out of the way! Stupid boarders...
What do you do in summer?
The summer just gone i actually stayed in Kitzbühel and worked at Schwarzsee renting out boats and paddle boards. It was a pretty great introduction to summer in Kitzbühel, meeting lots of locals and improving my Tirolerisch, all whilst getting to appreciate the amazing scenery and the comedy of people falling off the Stand Up Paddles. I have also spent time in the summer doing tennis coaching which i very much enjoy so maybe i will have a chance to do this out here next summer!
If you were the mayor of Kitzbühel, what would be your 3 first actions?
First and most importantly, i would ban snowboarders from stealing the fresh pow tracks, pumishable by being forced to ski instead
When it comes to guests, kids or adults?
Hard to choose, I like variation! It’s completely different teaching kids and adults but both can be rewarding. Kids tend to have a lot less fear and it’s always nice to see someone so young enjoying something that i am so passionate about! Teaching adults is a lot more technical but is great practice for your own skiing as well!
Dogs or Cats?
This question is impossible to answer, is both an option?
Snowfall or Bluebird?
I think my answer here is very predictable; overnight snow and cold, bluebird day. I mean what else would a person want? New skis to go with it i guess...
Fritattensuppe or Gulaschsuppe?
Fritattensuppe all the way here
English or Austrian Food?
It’s hard to beat a good bangers and mash with onion gravy! But when it is up against schnitzel mit preiselbeeren then it’s a close call! I think there are too many good Tyrolian dishes to overlook here so Austria takes this round!
Is it tough being an English Man in Austria?
I have experience mainly in Kitz so can not speak for Austria as a whole, but here at least, not at all! Ironically the only bit that is a bit difficult is learning German by immersion, because everyone here speaks such good english. Also shops being closed on Sundays presents a few problems when ive forgotten to go food shopping!
Favourite après Ski location in Kitz?
For me it still has to be The Londoner. Smelly for sure but the dancing on the tables and the bar staff/ waitresses just make it such a fun place to be, along with the fact that you are guarenteed to meet other instructors there!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I struggle to plan more than a week in advance in most cases so for me this is hard to answer. I only came up with a plan for this season after i had already started working! Although that was mainly due to the fact i accidentally broke my leg... the only thing i know for sure though is that mountains will be involved in some way!
3 advices you would give your guests
3 things you find weird about Austria /Austrians?
Is blue your favorite color - YES or YES?