With a total of 258 World Cup starts, Austria’s
veteran Mario Stecher is definitely the one to ask
if you're looking for „Experience personified“.
And even if the almost 37-year-old is not 100% sure
if he wants to continue with his career in the next
winter, he still took the time to answer the following
What would you says is the main difference between
Nordic Combined when you started with it and Nordic
Combined as it is today?
I think the sport did a 180 degree turn from when
I started in the World Cup until today. In former
times, everything was about the ski jumping part
with two or three rounds of jumping and 15 kilometres
of skiing. It was about the strong jumpers. For
me, this meant if I wasn’t among the very best athletes
in jumping, I had no chance. Cross-country skiing
was a rather minor matter, the level of performance
in cross-country skiing was not that high.
Today, you still have to be a good jumper and be
among the best there but on top of that, you have
to be a strong skier and a really good finisher.
The athlete has to be way more complete, more of
an all-around-talent these days.
How do you view the development of the sport these
days, especially in regards to Ladies Nordic Combined?
It would be great to see Nordic Combined also for
ladies. But for them as for everybody else who wishes
to start with it, it has to be clear that it is
one of the toughest sports out there in regards
to training volumes, intensity and time you have
to use for it. For the girls, one jump and 5 kilometres
of skiing would probably be enough, as you see it
in cross-country skiing where the ladies also tend
to have shorter distances.
If you had one wish for the future of Nordic Combined,
what would it be?
I think it’s important to quit discussing about
formats like we did in the past. We need to find
the „one“ Nordic Combined event, stick to it and
promote it as well as possible to keep a fixed place
on TV and in the media. Have one event and make
that happen in a really good way - there’s nothing
Something you have always wanted to say in an interview?
I am well-known as a person who has always said
what was on my mind, so I have nothing to answer
that question now. If the time is right, I will
open my mouth!
Do you have any plans for after your active career?
First of all, I would like to finish my studies
at the Open University Wismar and after that I would
like to use the knowledge I accumulated in the course
of my life and career and pass it on to others.
I haven’t made a 100% decision on if I will continue
next season or not. I will probably do that at the
beginning of July.
Mario Stecher Facts
Favourite venue: Definitely Seefeld. I go to Seefeld
to train very often, it’s just around the corner
from where I live. In addition to that, the Nordic
Combined TRIPLE has played out very well in the
first year and media really liked this event at
Seefeld. This is what makes Seefeld into my favourite
Favourite format: I think the regular Individual
Gundersen competiton with one jump and 10 kilometres
of cross-country skiing is the best format. For
me personally, it would be absolutely sufficient
to only have this individual format in the World
Cup, on normal and on large hills.
World Cup starts: 258
First World Cup start: 04.12.1993 in Saalfelden,
First World Cup victory: 15.01.1994, Oslo
World Cup victories: 12
World Championship starts: 22
World Championship victories: 2
Olympic Games starts: 13
Olympic Games victories: 2