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
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
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.