SPINE in Planica 2023

Sport – philosophy, lifestyle, state of mind.

These are not corny words, but a reality, confirmed by time and backed up by the actions of people whose example becomes motivation for millions. Regardless of age, background and geolocation, any goal is achievable and justifies the efforts invested in it. There are no patterns and boundaries for sports!

A vivid example of this is the hero of our interview today. A man who has proved that at the age of 30 you can turn your life 180°, and, acting contrary to the skeptical public opinion, achieve your goal. It's about Jawad Aidaoui.

Jawad Aidaoui was born in sunny Morocco, a country of contrasts, spices and exotics, where the sun shines all year round and the air temperature in winter does not fall below + 10 degrees. At home, he is a famous person - the winner of piano competitions, orchestra conductor, composer and improviser. Калинка improvisation by Jawad Johann Aidaoui Jawad is one of the most skilled jazz pianists in Morocco and Eastern Europe, as well as the maestro of the Amazigh Fazaz Symphony. Jawad AIDAOUI "Free-Cord style"

It would seem that there is no place for sports in his life. But this is not the case at all.

Jawad told SPINE how he realized his childhood dream, how he changed sports in his country, how he took part in the World Cup in Planica for the first time and who became the main support on this difficult path.

Jawad, thank you for agreeing to talk with us. Congratulations on participating in the World Cup! Tell me, please, why skiing?

D.A.: Since early childhood, I dreamed of running cross–country skiing and biathlon, but there was no opportunity to do skiing for an obvious reason - there is no snow in my homeland. I started training as soon as I had an opportunity – and now I have been training for the last four years in Kazakhstan.

SPINE: What did your friends think about this? Has their opinion changed?

D.A.: All my friends tried to dissuade me and convince me that it was impossible to achieve any heights in sports: most athletes have been training since early childhood, but I came to this sport at the age of 30, and I had never even skied before!I agree: I will not become a world champion anymore, but I have already become the first Moroccan in this sport, and the next goal is to participate in the 2026 Olympic Games in Turin. Now the main prospect for me is to "open the door" to skiing for a new generation of Moroccans. I sincerely believe that many of them will be able to become world champions!

SPINE: And how did your parents react?

D.A.: I think it would be a real happiness for every parent! Of course, my parents were very happy – they knew that throughout my life I have dreamed of cross-country skiing. Now that they have seen that I have achieved my dream at the age of 35 – they are incredibly proud of me!

SPINE: Who supports you on this path?

D.A.: My wife, my parents, friends. By the way, I have a lot of Russian friends! And one of them greatly influenced my results – this is your champion Alexander Panzhinsky. At every important competition, he finds the right words of support for me and gives me motivation to move on! At the beginning of my professional training, we met with Alexander in Kazakhstan and he gave me a small master class, which changed a lot in me!

SPINE: How was the preparation and what was the most difficult?

D.A.: The training took place in the village of Bobrovka (Kazakhstan), on the track where pupils of sport schools train. I also trained in Shchuchinsk and Almaty. In fact, a month before the competition, I was seriously ill, but it did not break me. The most difficult thing was to tune in psychologically and realize how close my dream is.

SPINE: What feelings did you have when the flag of your country was taken out at the opening ceremony?I felt a huge responsibility for my country, entrusted to me and proud of the new generation of Moroccans. And also – happiness from the fact that I did not give up on my childhood dream. These were very exciting and at the same time pleasant feelings.

SPINE: How were you received in Planica?

D.A.: Many people on the street, seeing the flag of my country on my clothes, stopped and congratulated me on the first participation of the Kingdom of Morocco in the World Cup. Because to these congratulations, I felt like a winner even before the race!

"The first step" is always difficult, especially when your federation has no experience in this sport. Most of the organizational items before the World Cup were on me – it was very difficult. But I am glad that we succeeded in the end.

SPINE: Tell us in more detail about your race!

D.A.: The race was very hard, to be honest. I used to ski in Kazakhstan and in Russia, but here I faced completely different conditions. My skis turned out to be not too suitable for this area and for most of the race I literally "ran", not slid. The serviceman did his best to prepare my skis for the race and in places on the track where the snow was dense, the skis slid well, but there were very few such places due to the warm weather conditions at the World Cup.

Psychologically, it was also not easy: when you go on the rise and see the camera of the Eurosport channel, you feel what responsibility is assigned to you at this moment. At the same time, we must not forget to concentrate on time and driving technique. This is something that can be learned only by practice. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there were many guys of my level of training at the World Cup: they represented Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Nigeria.

Video from the start:

SPINE: Thank you very much and further success in your sports career!

D.A.: Thank you for your support and attention!

Jawad Aidaoui is a living example of an uplift of professional skills that would happen if you do not give up and ignore the public opinion. “I see the goal – I see no obstacles" is the main motto of this man. He breathes sports and that says it all.

“Good evening! Thank you for your kind words. It was a great pleasure for all of us to work with you personally and with the entire SPINE team. Send our best thanks on behalf of Javad to the head of your company for the stylish outfit. Javad hopes to continue to be an adherent of your company in the future, since his goal is the Olympics, then we continue our way to it and we are happy to have friends in your person.”

With the support of SPINE, without stopping here, Javad continues to work towards his goal of popularizing skiing in his country. Sport is more than a vocation. This is the lifestyle that we create.

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