2013 Chaikovsky RUS
early March of 2013, the Old Boys of
the ski jumping world assembled in Chaykovsky,
in the Perm Region of Russia, for the International
Masters Championships. This town with about
80 thousand people is in the Ural Mountains
about 200 km south-west of the city of Perm
and about 1000 km east of Moscow. (We
find several other spellings of "Chaykovsky"
which is transliterated from Russian.)
The 2103 IMC on the shiny new
Chaykovsky jumping facility (below) offered competition
on four hills: K-95, 65 & 40 meters, and a 20
meter for the "Golden Oldies", plus cross country
races for Nordic Combined competition, and two team
Five brand new
hills in Chaykovsky, K-95, 125, 65, 20 & 40,
ready for the Old Boys.
This wonderful facility was completed in 2012 and
the first jumps were taken in February of that year.
In March, they hosted the Russian National Championships.
The web site
reports that 110 million Euros were spent for new
jumps, biathlon course, and a hotel (right), and
that the new facility is affiliated with a winter
sports school for 150 students. Most of the participants
stayed in this hotel which was an easy walk from
the jumps. The jumps are in two clusters separated
by about 100 meters and each group boasts its own
Participants at IMC 2013 report
that the new hills are beautiful and were in excellent
condition throughout the IMC. One skier suggested
that the word "perfect" may not be strong enough.
Another said that the hills were probably the best
in the history of the IMC. And the facility provides
good waxing rooms and changing room. The weather
can be summed up in one word: "COLD." The temperature
was -28 C (-18 F) at the beginning of the first
The shedule provided for open training on Sunday,
March 3, and then on Monday and Tuesday, open training
but with the nations divided into two groups assigned
to separate sessions to reduce the waiting time
at the tops of the jumps.
Among the items that each skier
received was a beautiful number bib, personalized
with his name and nation. Long time favorite at
IMC, Arne Jens Jorgensen (right) wore his new bib
during big hill training.
On Tuesday evening, participants
gathered in the Chaikovsky town square (below) for
the opening ceremonies.
When we think of the central
square in a European town, we think of a public
space hemmed in by ancient buildings, but not so
in this town. Here the town square has an open feel
and the buildings all look fresh and recently built.
The town of Chaikovsky was established in 1955 and
was named after the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich
Tchaikovsky, who was born in the nearby town of
Votkinsk. If you look carefully in the picture above-left,
you can spy a statue of the composer in place of
honor (closeup above-right).
At the opening ceremony, teams
lined up behind placards bearing their national
flags, and were entertained by singing and dancing,
and more dancing and more dancing.
A cross country skier (below,
right) came skating into view carrying a flaming
torch -- we are told that this was lit from the
Olympic flame bound for Sochi for the 2014 Olympics.
A flaming cauldron was lit that burned throughout
the IMC (below, left).
Somehow in the process, not one but two fires flared
up on the two front corners of the stage. We don't
know if that was staged or if it was really an accident.
At right we see an official trying to stamp out
the flames before it damaged the equipment.
The team leaders of the eight
national teams in attendance were called onto the
stage and welcomed by two women in traditional costumes.
One carried a round loaf of bread and the other
brought a tray with small glasses of vodka.
Competition began the next morning,
Wednesday, March 6, with the premier IMC event,
the K-65 meter jumping. The skiers were greeted
by a temperature of -28 C but the show went on.
Organizers divided the 123 skiers
into two groups with the younger skiers (those under
50) competing first on that frigid morning. The
sun had warmed things up a bit by the afternoon
when the older skiers (50 and up) had their turn
to jump. Here are two class winners on the K-65
who each won a second gold medal on another hill.
(NOR) Gold on 40 & 65
(RUS) Gold on 65 & 95
Later in the afternoon,
the younger Nordic Combined skiers, 29 hardy
racers, took to the cross country course,
having earned their jumping points in the
65 meter competition. They chose waxes for
very cold snow. Cross country races were held
on the new Biathlon facility about 2.5 km
from the jumps.
Award ceremonies for each
day's events were held in the evening at the
hotel, where three young ladies in traditional
costumes (right) carried certificates up for
At left we see IMC participants
gathered in the hotel lobby, up the stairway
and on the balcony for the first of three
daily award ceremonies.
Seated right up front
are the two oldest competitors: Kurt Brausse
(arms crossed) and Teuvo Koljonen (white shirt).
Thursday, the day for 40 meter competition, brought
foul weather. The older age groups (65 skiers ages
50 and up) skied in the morning but during a trial
and one competition round, the wind grew stronger
and stronger. The four oldest skiers (75 and up)
had taken their second jumps when officials ruled
that the competition should not go on, so the five
age groups of skiers 50 to 74 years old were scored
on just a single round of jumping. Here are two
class winners on the K-40.
(GER) Gold on K-40
The oldest IMC jumper, just turned 78.
Alf Tore Haug
(NOR) Gold on K-40
He was IMC President for several years.
The Thursday afternoon 40 meter
competition for the younger skiers was postponed
until Friday, but the cross country for the older
age groups ran as scheduled.
Friday was a very long and busy day, but the good
weather returned. The schedule was changed to make
time for the added 40 meter competition. The day
started with 29 skiers lining up at 9 am for the
20 meter jumping. This competition was just for
the oldest skiers with four age groups for jumpers
60 and up, plus a single class for those under 60.
Here are two Old Boys on the K-20 who are
long-time IMC competitors with contrasting styles
of jumping -- one in classic form, the other getting
his 'V' on.
(NOR) in classic form
Two Golds and a Silver medal
(RUS) with a 'V'
A Gold and a Silver medal
At noon, 39 competitors under
age 50 took to the 40 meter hill for their competition
postponed from Thursday. Finally, at 8 pm 66 jumpers
competed under the lights on the big hill, K-95.
Here are two jumpers on the big hill -- each of
them took home two golds and a silver.
(FIN) on the big hill
Two Golds and a Silver medal
Dubrovskiy (RUS) in flight
Two Golds and a Silver medal
The Russians spared no expense
when they built this facility. We see that the start
area on the big hill, and the other hills too for
enjoys every modern luxury. They have a zillion
starts, and the flat areas where skiers put on their
skis are long enough for the largest jumping skis
and still leave room for other jumpers to walk past.
LOOK MA, NO SNOW!!
The two large hills, according to skisprungschanzen.com,
are equipped with all-season refrigerated track
made by Ski-line. These provide an ice track in
summer and winter without snow. At right, we see
jumper Ari Noponen of Finland just settling into
the track -- he knows that it will be straight and
smooth and fast.
Saturday was the day for team
competitions with the team jumping on the K-65 at
10 am, followed by a Nordic Combined team relay
at 1 pm. In both events, the teams have four members
aged 30+, 40+, 50+ and 60+. These competitions are
usually usually shootouts between Norway and Finland
for bragging rights, but this year it was different.
In the jump, Finland placed fourth following NOR-I,
RUS-I & NOR-II.
In the team
jumping, Norway took first and third and Russia
The tables were turned in the
Nordic Combined with Russia taking the first two
spots, then Finland -- Team Norway had to settle
for fifth place.
In the NC Relay,
Russia took first and second and Finland finished
Later in the afternoon, buses
carried the participants on about a half hour ride
to the closing banquet. Awards for the two team
events were that first order of business at the
banquet -- the ceremony was performed outside (see
two pictures above).
IMC participants were welcomed with songs sung by
a group of women in traditional costumes and a man
playing accordion, and by a line of girls in costume.
Inside the banquet
hall, a feast awaited, with drinks for all.
Along with the big dinner
there was entertainment: more dancing and
Photography was difficult in the crowded
room, but we can show you two of the acts
waiting in the wings for their big moment.
There was also an X-rated dance act that
received mixed reviews.
Kurt Brausse (GER) was the oldest jumper at
IMC 2013, as he was in 2012 in Sczcyrk, Poland.
Kurt turned 78 on March 4 but took home a
gold medal from the K-40 and silver from the
K-20 competitions. At the right, Kurt is congratulated
by James Lambert who has just finished his
term as IMC President. James displays his
Britishness by wearing kilts.
At left, trying to keep
warm in the frigid temperature of IMC 2013,
is Sindre Helland of Norway, the only skier
to have participated in all 24 editions
of IMC. He is now accompanied at the Championships
by his son Joakim.
| The two main
IMC organizers were IMC stalwarts. The Chief
of Competition was Sergey Chervyakov (left)
who competed in IMC in the 1990's.
And the Chairman of the Organizing committee
was Aleksandr Postanogov (right) who has
competed for many years now and who even
found the time and energy to jump in the
K-65 and 95 meter competitions in Chaikovsky.
After the eating and drinking,
after the speeches and gifts, after the singing
and dancing, the participants at IMC 2013 in Chaikovsky
began the many warm goodbyes as they parted from
their friends for another year.
In 1998 when the IMC was hosted
in Perm, Russia, not far from Chaikovsky, we learned
that ski jumping was alive and well in the Ural
Mountains. Skiers who had not come to the previous
events in Scandinavia or the U.S. turned out in
large numbers and showed their skills in jumping
and their strength in cross country skiing. It
was no surprise then when in 2013 Russia fielded
a team of 109 excellent athletes (plus 4 pre-masters
25-29), the largest national team ever seen at
IMC. It is sad that so many of these fine competitors
are unable to travel west when the IMC is not
in their back yard. Also sad was the small turnout
of visiting teams in Chaikovsky. Only eight nations
were represented and the visiting teams were all
smaller than usual. We can guess the reasons --
long trip, high costs, bad economic times, and
more -- but it is sad to see such a small turnout.
In 2012 we had 17 nations in Sczcyrk, POL, having
set the record of 18 the previous year in Harrachov,
CZE. The number of athletes in Chaikovsky was
large only because of the huge home-team. (The
German team might have been larger but some of
the skiers had trouble obtaining visas for travel
We have been pleased in the past when every nation
at the IMC took home at least one medal, but this
year three of the eight teams went home empty-handed.
The 178 athletes posted 388 individual results,
compared to the record of 408 results by 191 skiers
at Taivalkoski in 2008.
Brief Statistical Summary
A quick count in the result sheets show
that 178 skiers from 8 nations recorded
388 finishes. Here are two tables -- one
showing the team sizes and medal counts,
and the other showing class sizes in the
NAT team .. medals.. Ages K-20 K-40 K-65 K-95 NC Total
size G S B --------------------------------------
----------------------- 75-79 3 4 1 0 3 11
AUT 1 0 0 0 70-74 4 4 1 0 3 12
FIN 19 9 10 8 65-69 3 8 5 2 5 23
GBR 1 0 0 0 60-64 11 15 9 4 10 49
GER 7 1 3 0 55-59 8 16 11 5 7 47
NOR 34 12 13 10 50-54 18 15 7 9 49
RUS 113* 20 17 23 45-49 14 20 10 10 54
SWI 2 3 0 0 40-44 13 22 10 8 53
UKR 1 0 0 0 35-39 10 24 14 7 55
----------------------- 30-34 2 11 11 4 28
178 45 43 41 (25-29) 4 3 7
*includes 4 premasters Totals: 29 104 123 66 66 388
We have also
prepared a list of all 178 competitors in
IMC-2013 showing the skiers' nations and how
they placed in each event. Take
of IMC 2013
IMC rules restrict a skier to two jumping
events plus Nordic Combined, so an athlete can take
home at most three individual medals. In 2013, eight
athletes did win three medals, led by Stanislav
Dubrovskiy (RUS), Seppo Kinnunen (FIN) and Arnold
Lund (NOR) who each won two golds and a silver.
You can find the five others in the medalist list
Four IMC athletes in age groups V and up (50+) chose
to compete in the two larger hill competitions plus
Nordic Combined, but an IMC rule required Nordic
Combined competitors 50 years old and older to earn
their NC jumping points on the 40 meter hill. This
required the four to compete on three jumping hills.
Of the four, only one skied in both team events
- that athlete was Aatto Lamminpфф (right)
who was chosen for both of Finland's A-teams, making
him the Ironman of the 2013 IMC, competing in six
Meetings of the IMC Committee produced a new Board
to lead the movement for the next two years. The
Board consists of Manuela Steinki & Klaus Gu"nther
of Germany and Stein Arne Hoel of Norway but the
roles and titles of these three were not designated.
The meetings did not name a host for IMC 2014.
Thank you to Erkki Ahtiainen and Manuela
Steinki for their written reports on IMC 2013 -
these provided much of the story recorded above.
And thank you even more to Manuela for providing
thousands of pictures. We mined her photo galleries
for almost all of the pictures shown here.
Chaykovsky organizers produced results in .pdf files,
one for each age group on each hill, plus Nordic
Combined, 57 files in all. Results for the Nordic
Combined jumping in class 50-54 are not available
so we have linked to the full jumping results instead.
Nine of the 14 skiers shown there competed in the
Nordic Combined cross country race. Here are links
to the results.
are the names of the medalists from IMC2013