Books – ‘Breaking the Ice’, by Ander Mirambell

March 27, 2014 – There are many top athletes that are connected to golf, and Ander Mirambell, our first Spanish Olympic skeleton pilot in Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, is one of them. But after reading his book ‘Breaking the Ice’ (published by Plataforma Editorial), I can assure you that the word ‘golf’ is not written in any of its pages. What a disappointment!

But I haven’t wasted time, however, as any sportsman or sportswoman, professional or amateur, who seeks to reach their goals can get something out of this madness of sledding downhill at more than 100 km/h through an ice-tube, of the tireless struggle to achieve a dream of being an Olympic athlete, of surviving and then writing the experience in a book to share it with others. Chapeaux!

Now that golf is becoming an Olympic sport again – after being played in Paris 1900 and St. Louis 1904 it was withdrawn from the Games, like the skeleton which jumped from St. Moritz 1928 and 1948 to Salt Lake City 2002 – from the 2016 Games in Rio golfers can also aspire to be Olympic. What Spanish players will pursue the same Olympic dream as Ander Mirambell?

The selected players, whether they are promising juniors or iconic stars of our golf, will certainly experience the same feelings as our skeleton pilot. Of course, they won’t go through the hardships that Ander tells us about, because Spain is a world power in golf, with legendary names such as Seve that have marked golf history, and we have plenty of courses to play on, while you can’t find a single ice toboggan in a 1,000 km radius around Spain.

There’s no doubt that the mentality, vitality, values​, enthusiasm and effort that Ander transpires through the pages of ‘Breaking the Ice’, will be a source of inspiration for the younger generation of athletes in their effort to achieve their dreams. The messages ring out – such as learning to manage the pressure and fear to overcome the hazards, to hone all five senses to the maximum to be competitive, to never stop evolving without losing your own identity, to give more importance not to the dream but to the determination to achieve it.

Going back to the beginning, what has Ander to do with golf? Let him tell us himself.


MYGOLFWAY.COM: There is no reference to golf in your book…
ANDER MIRAMBELL: No, but I like golf, especially playing. It has its technical difficulty, and above all the mental difficulty, so that helps in the preparation of any athlete. I started with the pitch and putt, and thanks to my friend Toni Alcázar Triquell – who, by the way, collaborates with -, who taught me the magic of golf and helped me in my first lessons. Since my level is very basic, I find it hard to go out and play alone. I need company to enjoy the sport, and above all to learn. And because I’m very demanding on myself, I need more time to get to compete.

MGW: What do golf and skeleton share, have they anything in common?
AM: They are quite similar in the mental aspect. You have to be able to decide where the limit is in both sports. In skeleton, if you cross that limit because you think you can do it and you’re wrong, you end up in Hospital. If you do the same in golf from the tee or in a putt, you can lose the match or the tournament. You have to be realistic about the possibilities of each one and decide.
The big difference between the sports is the time you have to take decisions, although in both cases it is equally complicated. But they coincide in that if you get it wrong, you can’t dwell on that mistake until after you finish the round, because otherwise you’ll be limiting yourself in the next decision.


MGW: What most catches your attention in golf?
AM: That the most efficient player wins the tournament. Golf is one of the sports where the biomechanical requirements are at a maximum level. Not only the demand on the muscles you use, but also the efficiency of each movement. Just by applying one of the energies at the incorrect angle, you can finish up without the stroke you want.

MGW: Would you include golf in your training plan, or as a form of relaxation?
AM: As a form of leisure. I think it is important to disconnect, but I am very competitive… Golf is also a way to compete against yourself. I like to call it leisure, but always end up competing against myself. Although the magic of a golf course makes this competition feel more like a form of leisure.

MGW: And thinking about the skeleton sled, what would happen if you dropped a golf ball on the ice tube, would it go all the way down?
AM: In a toboggan it would get to the end, or we might see it shoot out of a curve. It has so little weight that it would probably fly when it accelerates, ha, ha.

It’d be fun to try it out one day. Ander Mirambell has now set his sights on the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyongyang, South Korea. Go for it!

You can follow him closer through and @AnderSkeleton.