“Then everyone is in the pool”
Sven Hannawald warns against summer ski jumping in Dubai
06/29/2023, 06:46 am
The climate crisis has long since found its way into winter sports. The snow is getting less, new ideas have to be developed. Ski jumping not only dreams of green hills at the current European Games in Poland. It should also go into the desert. The icon Sven Hannawald doesn’t understand that.
For Sven Hannawald, at least the nearer Olympic future of ski jumping is still in winter. “I don’t see a chance that ski jumping will take place at the summer games as long as there are still winter games – and I’m sure 95 percent of all jumpers see it that way too,” said the German ski jumping icon, referring to the current competitions in Zakopane, Poland. These will take place as part of the European Games and thus for the first time at an event where otherwise only summer or year-round sports are represented.
“I wouldn’t want to sacrifice the Winter Olympics,” said Hannawald, adding that the competitions in the cold months of the year have “a longer history, a greater history.” Because of the climate crisis, however, fewer and fewer traditional winter sports resorts are considered snow-sure. The overall winner of the Four Hills Tournament in the 2001/02 season doesn’t think much of an additional offer in summer alongside the tried-and-tested competitions in winter: “I warn against too many competitions and ideas like in biathlon, where there are umpteen disciplines and a world championship every year. “
FIS race director dreams of ski jumping in Dubai
One also has to ask oneself whether the ski jumping fans would be just as excited in summer as they are in winter. “At the end of the day in summer everyone is in the swimming pool, eating ice cream – and nobody watches ski jumping,” said Hannawald. “There are a few things that you have to weigh up, discuss the pros and cons.”
Hannawald doesn’t see any major hurdles for the athletes, who do a lot of training jumps in the summer anyway. “In terms of the process, jumping at the Olympics in the summer would be possible, but winter is the elementary thing. Everything is geared towards that,” he explained, adding: “The planning, the preparation, you would have to restructure that if you want to be in top form in the summer .”
Officials had recently expressed a completely different opinion, including FIS race director Sandro Pertile. He likes the idea of year-round sport. “Ski jumping is a show,” Pertile told the Slovenian daily “Dnevnik” in early March. He dreams of a mobile hill that can be set up anywhere in the world: “To compete in Dubai or in Las Vegas would definitely be something that ski jumping urgently needs.”
Today it’s about medals
With Karl Geiger, Markus Eisenbichler and Andreas Wellinger, the three top German jumpers are absent from the European Games. “We are sending four younger athletes there – with a view to the next Olympic Winter Games, they should get a taste of Olympic air. The established athletes are continuing their base training,” said national coach Stefan Horngacher in advance.
Instead, 23-year-old Constantin Schmid, Philipp Raimund, Luca Roth and 25-year-old Felix Hoffmann jump. Today in the morning the individual medals will be awarded on the normal hill, in the afternoon the team competition in mixed takes place. In the singles, the women then jump off the large hill on Friday afternoon, the men on Saturday afternoon.