Ski Jumping Nordic Combined in Russia. Sports Club "Flying Skier" - Perm. Ski Jumping Nordic Combined in Russia. Sports Club "Flying Skier" - Perm. Ski Jumping Nordic Combined in Russia. Sports Club "Flying Skier" - Perm.


Gregor Schlierenzauer: I'm only human, not a machine

He was last winter's high-flyer: The Austrian won the overall World Cup title, the ski flying World Cup, 3 medals at the WSC in Predazzo, the 4-Hills-Tournament and ten World Cup competitions - 50 in total so far, that's unrivaled. Gregor Schlierenzauer spoke to FISskijumping.com about the 2012/13 season.

FISskijumping: The season was long and exhausting, there were a lot of important competitions.

Gregor Schlierenzauer: Not necessarily, it was a good season. When you look at the season, there's always a lot going on. We have World Championships every year - in ski flying or normal WSC, and the 4-Hills-Tournament is also every year, just like the overall World Cup. So it's always stressful, but, of course, when you are doing well you have even more stress, but that's very positive then.

FISskijumping: Where you relieved when you already won the overall World Cup title after the competition in Kuopio?

Schlierenzauer: Not really in Kuopio. It already went very well before that and actually the whole season was very good for me. Of course, the overall World Cup was a big goal and then it's nice when you can already achieve that four competitions before the end of the season.

FISskijumping: You met Matti Nykaenen in Kuopio. What were you talking about?

Schlierenzauer: Yes, I met him. He congratulated me and told me that I'm the # 1 now, then I said, "Well, you are not so bad yourself". It was really nice.

FISskijumping: In Harrachov you took your 47th and 48th win. It was not easy in the Czech Republic - it was windy and the competitions were delayed. How did that feel?

Schlierenzauer: Harrachov was of course very special, two ski flying competitions on one day is tough. When you can win twice it's incredible and then it was this magic number: 47 wins ... It was an incredible day for me and also for the history of ski jumping. I really enjoyed that.

FISskijumping: And how is it to wake up every day and know, "Yes, I achieved something big in life" - do you think about that?

Schlierenzauer: It is always a great motivation, but I'm not that type of guy who now writes # 1 everywhere. I'm happy about every success, but there are more important things in life.

FISskijumping: Young ski jumper Sara Takanashi said after the Junior World Championships in Liberec that it's a lot more difficult to defend a title, than to win it for the first time. Is that your opinion as well?

Schlierenzauer: It is always easier to come to the top than to stay there and if you are successful in the world class for years, then it's a lot of work and it's definitely more difficult than to be among the best in one season.

FISskijumping: The WSC were very successful for you, you won three medals there, but in the media it was said that it didn't go as well as expected. What do you think about that and how satisfied where you with your results?

Schlierenzauer: The pressure to be successful is always there in Austria, especially when you look at the whole season of the Austrians this years, it was basically only me. And before the WSC I won everything, with Harrachov, the 4-Hills-Tournament, and then everyone wanted me to win two, or even four, gold medals. But I always said that it's not as easy as everyone thinks. For me the goal is to win an individual medal and at major events and World Championships it's not that easy to achieve that. So the Championships were very successful for me. It wasn't perfect on the large hill, but I'm only human and not a machine and so it was good for me.

FISskijumping: Do you sometimes read the newspapers and the opinions published there?

Schlierenzauer: I try not to follow the media coverage that much during World Championships or the 4-Hills-Tournament, because I simply know that it's not always written in the papers as it really is.

FISskijumping: With everything you already achieved, is it difficult to stay motivated?

Schlierenzauer: Actually it isn't. My biggest motivation is my perfectionism, wanting to have the perfect jump, that's what keeps me going. Before my jumps are not really perfect, the way I imagine it, then I'm motivated enough. So if I would have already won everything and my jumps would be so good that I say, okay, there's no room for improvement anymore, everything is perfect, then I would have a problem. But there still is some room for improvement.

FISskijumping: You were one of the main critics of the new rules. Do you think there will also be some innovations for the upcoming season?

Schlierenzauer: I think so, I think it's important to always further develop the sport. That has always been the case over the past years, they always try to find something new and make progress. But of course you have to be careful that the sport doesn't get too complicated. For the spectators, ski jumping is always about distance, about meters, and who jumps the farthest, should win. And now with the gate compensation it gets too complicated and I don't think that's good. You have to be a very good mathematician to understand that well.

FISskijumping: And what do you think about the new rules? Was it more difficult, for example at the final in Planica, to jump with the tighter suits?

Schlierenzauer: By now it's works very well, until the end of the season you adjusted to it. At first it was of course always difficult, everyone needed to gain experiences. But I think that this is a good step towards equal chances, for the fairness and I think these rules are good.

FISskijumping: What are your plans after the season? Do you have a lot of appointments with journalists or summer vacation?

Schlierenzauer: There will be some appointments in summer, but of course there's also time to relax and for vacation, to recharge the batteries and then the preparation for Sochi 2014 starts. This is a very big goal and actually the season always starts pretty fast again.

Berkutschi.com, 29.03.2013

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