Tamas Trunk, only 19 years old, has already made his mark as a social media star, entrepreneur, and Hungary’s best male alpine skier. Starting his career in youtube as a young sneakerhead, Tamas has come very far since. In only a matter of a few years, he has absorbed a lifetime of lessons. He speaks at international talks, including TEDx, consults companies and preaches what he has learnt to his admiring follower base. Apart from his obvious skiing passion, he is deeply integrated in gen-z fashion and consumerism. In fact, Tamas has already released his book, “Sneakers, brands, Z generation”.
Furthermore, Tamas was selected as one of ‘30 under 30 future leaders’ by Trend, the leading Austrian Economic magazine. If you can believe it, he is also pursuing a bachelor degree in Italy. Towards the end of 2022, Tamas came to visit our headquarters as one of our sponsored athlete, where we spoke about his successes on and off the slope.
Tamas, you are a talented and bright young-generation influencer. What is your passion in life?
Tamas: Oh, my passion, of course, is excellence in everything I do. I do many different things. I present, I consult companies, I advise a new generation, I have a YouTube channel, I do many big talks, and, of course, skiing is the biggest part of my life, probably. I’m extremely passionate about skiing. Through sports, and through organizing everything for myself for the past decade, I’m really building up an interesting and friendly network with so many people on the slopes. I really learned how much discipline matters, how much the strive for excellence matters in all aspects of life. So, I would say this is my passion.
In whatever I do, I think, I can really implement my discipline, regardless of the pressure I'm put under. I like to relate life to a skiing turn - when you are in the turn, an extreme amount of pressure is built between you and the ski. This one moment of tension releases at the end of the turn, and this feeling of release is like an explosion, and you feel free. This is why also in life, you sometimes have to deal with pressure to become greater.
You are Austria’s 30 under 30 by ‘Trend at’. Could you please explain what the list of people you are in?
Tamas: Yes, I had the great honor to be selected amongst Austria’s 30 under 30. As I’m from Hungary, of course, Austria is not my home nation, but that’s why it is an even bigger honor that the leading Austrian Economic magazine had selected me. And it was full of inspiring young people, people under 30 who are sitting in the Austrian parliaments, who are leading huge companies at such a young age, and I was among the two youngest on the list. So, it was a huge honor to have been selected for such a professional list. It was not just a list about show and coolness. I really respect the magazine, and I’m extremely honored to be on it and to represent Hungary on there.
You are a sneakerhead and passionate about sneaker-culture. You launched a book “Sneakers, brands, Z generation”. What is this book about?Tamas: I’ve written two books. My first book is about how sneaker brands communicate in a very special way to the young generation, to a new generation. They build completely a new relationship between the brand and consumers at the end. Firstly, I’ve written about this a little bit, about super interesting sneaker stories and the culture behind them. It was a big success. My first sold more than 5,000 copies in Hungary, which is unbelievable for me. And my second book was also more strictly about real brand building for the new generation. I took a step on the consulting side and really dove
into building a new gen brand in a world like this, where you have to adapt constantly, and where so many different platforms can impact it. It constantly develops, constantly differs from the one it was yesterday.
You are a professional Hungarian skier. What does it mean for you to represent Hungary?
Tamas: We carry great pride because of the great history of our nation. So, I’m extremely proud to represent Hungary. I’m super proud that I can do it in my own way, through my personality, which is super open. I have so many connections, and so many friends on the slope from all over the world. To bring this very happy spirit with the Hungarian flag on myself is just something that makes me super happy. Being up there with big nations is something that makes me extremely proud as a Hungarian. I think the most difficult thing at the beginning, especially for young athletes, is that if you are coming from a non-skiing nation or a small skiing nation, it is not just about the structure of the ski-system. In fact, I think it is about believing you can be just as good as guys wearing the Norwegian jacket or Austrian jackets. To get up there in a moment, and to be on the level with these guys. Of course, I’m working on my big goal, which is to be in the World Cup top 30 in slalom. It’s manageable. I’m thinking in a good way, and I'm not so far away anymore, I really believe in it. It’s going to happen, it can happen. Also, last year, when I was at the European Youth Olympic festival, I got in the top ten as the first Hungarian male athlete. I was extremely happy about it. I had some Italians, Austrians, Norwegians, and Germans behind me. It is a great feeling. With all these people, we are friends, I know them personally. It is so great to be on the slope together, to push each other’s limits and to have this friendship, and to have your flag up there with other flags. It is just incredible. Also, when I was winning the Whistler cup in Canada at sixteen (many years ago now) in a completely different continent with a Hungarian jacket, playing the Hungarian nation hymn, carrying a Hungarian flag… it is just amazing.
How and when did sport come into your life? How did you get specifically into skis?
Tamas: Honestly, I’ve never been classically talented in sports, I was never a good ball-catcher or anything like that. But somehow, I have many qualities that I’m strong in and I can build a lot on, mentally also. I think this is how I got into skiing. My parents were never professional skiers, but they ski super well, I have to say. I’m not coming from a classic sports family or a classic skiing family. So, I came into this world very fresh, experimenting with everything on the way, finding my own way. I remember my first time racing, I think, when I was five years old, I didn’t know what a course inspection was. We just skied through the course with my mom because we didn’t know what inspection was, and I was crazy about it. I think it was the best thing that could have happened to me to find my own path in a sport.
What is the biggest race you have participated in?
Tamas: I have been to the world championship in Cortina, and I’ve been to the European Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, which is the capital of the Olympic spirit. It was a very special event where Tomas Bach, the president of the IOC, was giving a speech right in front of me. I had very interesting talks with him personally, which is also a great honor. But for me, the most special event was the European Youth Olympic Festival in Finland, in Vuokatti, last year. I love Finland, I have a great relationship with Finnish athletes. I was just now training with the Finnish national team, enjoying my friends. And also, the results were extremely satisfying, and also to have them in a country or in a spirit that I really respect and really like.
What is your goal for the upcoming season?
Tamas: It is hard to say, I want to get better, I want to improve my FIS points. It is hard to explain the FIS point system to someone who is not in the skiing world. But my goal is to lower my FIS points (World Ranking), to improve my level of skiing obviously, and to get closer to the world cup. Everything that comes along the way, I’m happy about it, of course. But what I’m focused on is to really develop, to really get better and to reach that level and of course to extremely enjoy the whole path, make new friends, make new connections and be able to raise with these people and push each other’s limits.
Does sport help you to overcome difficulties in your life?
Tamas: Obviously yes. Definitely. I learn a lot from sports, all aspects of life. Sports give me lessons and values that I can build on, that I can rely on and that I can get greater from a lot of people.
As a person who prefers high-quality clothing and sneakers, what do you expect from cooperation with VIST and why do you choose VIST as your ski brand?
Tamas: VIST is obviously the coolest out of all the ski brands. It is the most fashionable brand. VIST is a lot about performance and super high quality. And this combination makes such a great value for me. Having Fila collaborations, having other collaborations, and having an empowering mindset for the youth, all these give me a lot of strength on the slope and make me be proud to wear this jacket. I think it is so great.