Shortly before the Austrian team departs for the next training camp, FISNC caught up with the Austrian athlete showing one of the biggest developments of last winter: Lukas Klapfer. In TUESDAY TALK, the 28-year-old reminisces about his success winter, the summer preparation so far and the first months with his daughter Valentina.
Some days ago, the Austrian team met up for the first time in this new season at Going. What exactly was this first camp about?
Lukas Klapfer: We met up to go through the course plan for the summer and also the plan for the World Cup in winter. Of course every athlete also discussed his individual training with the coaches. On top of that, we went on a biking trip together and our physiotherapist Moritz did some tests before we start into our traditional cycling camp in Italy this week.
Looking back on the last winter, you can probably be quite satisfied: you had your breakthrough in the A-team, took a Top 15 rank in the overall World Cup and a team bronze at the Olympic Games in Sochi. What do you think about your winter 2013/14?
Klapfer: The past season was really amazing for me. I learned a lot and was able to get some good and some very good results. It was a pity, though, that I sometimes had troubles towards the end of the competitions and lost a couple of top results over that.
After it did not work out to win a team medal at the World Championships in Val di Fiemme, how important was it for you that you managed to do it in Sochi now?
Klapfer: Sochi definitely was my highlight of the season. I was so relieved to get that medal, especially because it didn't work out in Val di Fiemme the year before.
The TRIPLE at Seefeld surely was another highlight, a home competition for you as an Austrian. How did you experience this weekend?
Klapfer: The Nordic Combined TRIPLE was a really cool thing and I do hope it will be able to establish itself among the big events like the Four Hills Tournament. As an athlete, it's quite interesting to have three competitions in a row, it's actually quite demanding.
You will be back on the A-team with your teammates Gruber, Denifl, Stecher and Bieler. What are your goals for the upcoming summer and the next winter season?
Klapfer: I would like to prepare for the upcoming World Championship season in the best possible way over the summer now. It's especially important to work on my weaknesses of last winter. Especially in the cross-country part, I have to get stronger without losing anything in the ski jumping part.
During the winter, you passed another milestone with your daughter Valentina being born. How have the first months of being a dad been?
Klapfer: I am really happy that Valentina is so nice to let us get enough sleep! (laughs) She was born in the middle of the season when I couldn't be there much but at least I get to spend every free minute with her now that she is more alert and perceives more of her environment.