It's a good thing that there is truth to the saying that after rain comes sunshine. Who better to discuss that topic with than Italy's Alessandro Pittin who returned to the podium after going through a rough patch in the last winter with multiple injuries and the disappointment of not performing well at his "home" World Championships in Val di Fiemme. To fis-ski.com, the 23-year-old talked about how special it is to share this experience of success with a teammate, getting over his injuries and further goals.
Your Team Sprint podium together with Samuel Costa was the first big "comeback" after a long time with injuries and setbacks. How necessary was this also in terms of your confidence?
Alessandro Pittin: It was really great. I had such a bad start into the season, so I really needed this. I checked, it was 23 months that I was away from the World Cup podium, so yeah, it was great today. I still need to do some work on the ski jumping but maybe it's all going a little bit better now. I found a good feeling in the cross-country part, so I hope to be in a better shape already for next weekend.
Do you actually still feel any physical pain or mental barriers from your injuries?
Pittin: From the physical side, I am good. I am not in top shape but it's getting better and better. Mentally, I am not in a good moment right now. The first weekends were really bad and also in the PCR in Ramsau, I had bad jumps. I can't really explain it because during summer, I had quite good jumps but I lost something during the beginning of the season. So, we'll see how it goes next weekend but then we might take a little break after new year's. I don't know if we're going to Russia. We will see.
Last weekend, a failure in the qualification and a podium in the Team Sprint lay pretty closely together for you. With what kind of feelings do you look back on the past weekend?
Pittin: The podium was just so great for us and also really important for my confidence and also for the whole team as we all did have a bad start into the season. We had much higher expectations.
Speaking of your team, with Samuel Costa, a young teammate joined you on the podium. How important do you think it is also for the development of the whole team that he can also have this experience of success?
Pittin: I really think I was able to give something extra on the last few metres because I was with Samuel. It's beautiful to be able to stand on the podium together with a young guy, especially because it was his first World Cup podium. For me, it's the second Team Sprint in the World Cup and the second podium, with two different teammates. It's great to stand on the podium after an Individual race but it's so beautiful to do it together with a teammate. For the future, I think we can do even better things. The whole team worked very hard this summer and I am sure it might pay off for the next weekends.
What are your personal goals for the upcoming weekend in Schonach now, after this success?
Pittin: Well, the first goal would be to actually get into the competition! (laughs) If I could be in the Top 30 after the ski jumping, that would be great for this moment. We will try and see if it works or not!