Athletes demanded in summer
Ski jumping dresses up for “Dubai or Las Vegas”.
06/27/2023, 11:01 am
Instead of thermal underwear, the ski jumpers have their swimming trunks in their luggage this time. For the first time, they are taking part in a major summer event at the European Games. Climate change requires new ways – and those responsible are already dreaming of completely new sources of income.
Constantin Schmid can leave the bobble hat at home, as can the thick gloves. Up to 27 degrees are expected in the coming days at the European Games in Kraków, but the ski jumper doesn’t care about the unusual heat. “I’m going there like to any other big event – even if it’s the first time for ski jumping in the summer,” says the Olympic bronze medalist with the team.
Never before have ski jumping competitions taken place at a major summer event, and the premiere in Poland should above all be a sign. “I think the development is okay, because ski jumping is currently a summer and winter sport,” says national coach Stefan Horngacher and emphasizes: “In the future there will be more high-quality summer competitions. That’s the first step.”
Ski jumping without snow works
Like so many other winter sports, ski jumping is a concern in times of climate change, but unlike alpine athletes or biathletes, the long-distance hunters already have solutions ready. This was already proven last winter, when a World Cup was held on mats for the first time in Wisla, Poland. There have long been considerations of extending the World Cup to cover the whole year – after all, the sport can do without any snow at all.
Not only Schmid is looking forward to the unusual guest performance in Poland, in addition to two individual decisions for women and men there is also a mixed on the program. He wants to “show people that ski jumping also works in summer,” says Schmid. Women’s national coach Maximilian Mechler is even hoping for an “Olympic flair” as compensation for the Winter Games in Beijing, where there was no mood due to Corona.
“Grab a bit of Olympic air”
Horngacher also expects a touch of the Olympics. The Austrian is therefore leaving his top jumpers such as Karl Geiger and Andreas Wellinger at home, instead the youngsters Felix Hoffmann, Philipp Raimund, Luca Roth and Schmid should “get a bit of Olympic air in Kraków to be prepared for the coming years,” said Horngacher. The summer games are just right.
And maybe Kraków is just the beginning of a long road that leads to the desert. Because FIS race director Sandro Pertile also likes the idea of year-round sport. “Ski jumping is a show,” Pertile told the Slovenian daily “Dnevnik” at the beginning of March. He dreams of a mobile hill that can be set up anywhere in the world: “Competing in Dubai or in Las Vegas would definitely be something that ski jumping urgently needed.”