When and how did you get into climbing? What keeps you interested? What fascinates you?
I started climbing at the age of eleven. I've been fascinated by it ever since. The huge variety of different movements, areas and routes constantly provides me with new puzzles and challenges.
Who were your childhood heroes?
When I started climbing, I was fascinated by many of the climbing pioneers, for example Wolfgang Güllich, Lynn Hill and François Legrand.
Do you consider yourself a role model now? Does it influence you at all that other people look up to you?
I might well be a role model for certain people. But what's more important to me is that my story gets told and above all, that younger climbers are encouraged by it.
What have been the most important milestones in your life so far, both in climbing and in everyday life? And did you recognize them immediately as such or only later on?
My motto is "carpe diem!" I want to live in the here and now. I'm not interested in long-term plans. Life is short and requires me to react in a flexible manner.
What were your greatest failures / setbacks / injuries? How did you cope with them and how did you come back from them?
Injuring my shoulder back in 2008, which took me six months before I could climb again. It was a hard struggle to make it back to climbing at an international level. Pure willpower and support from family and friends made all the difference.
What is your favourite climbing-related story / experience?
When I became World Champion for the third time in Arco in 2011. The final route had a big dyno, which I managed to find a creative alternative to – using my legs first. It was an incredible moment that remains with me to this day.