As another one of the experienced athletes of the Nordic Combined World Cup, now it is Jan Schmid’s turn to look back on his career so far and the development of the sport since when he began with it. With 185 World Cup starts, a change of nationality and a term as Athletes’ Commission Representative under his belt, the 30-year-old is definitely one to ask when it comes to different perspectives on his discipline.
What would you says is the main difference between Nordic Combined when you started with it and Nordic Combined as it is today?
The biggest difference between “the old days” and now is that everything is closer together. In my first years, there were some real specialists in each discipline. The gaps after the jumping were bigger and the differences in cross-country speed were much greater. Nowadays the level on the hill is quite close, and the average level in the XC-discipline is much higher. So the gaps are smaller and the competitions much tighter.
How do you view the development of the sport these days, especially also in regards to Ladies Nordic Combined?
I like where the sport is heading today. We have a clear format with one jump and a 10km Gundersen race, with some other interesting formats sprinkled in throughout the season. I wish we’d simplify the equipment rules a bit in the coming years, instead of piling on new rules every year.
I would also very much like to welcome the ladies into our sport, it’s much overdue... I look forward to watching the first joint men/woman WC races from a couch somewhere sometime in the not-too-distant future.
If you had one wish for the future of Nordic Combined, what would it be?
I’d love to see even more people open their eyes to this extremely difficult, but also beautiful sport of ours...
Do you have any plans for after your active career?
Nothing too specific really. I’d love to stay involved in sports in some capacity - It’s what I’ve spent most of my years doing.
Jan Schmid Facts
Favourite venue: To be: Ramsau and Seefeld, just lovely places... To compete: Maybe Oberstdorf, I like the hill and people show up to watch us race.
Favourite format: I like the old Gundersen format (2 jumps, 15 km) best. Also loved the mass-start, it was nice to have the jumping part decide the competition for a change...
World Cup starts: 185 First World Cup start: 29.12.2001 in Oberwiesenthal First World Cup podium: 20.12.2008 in Ramsau am Dachstein World Cup victories: 2 World Championship starts: 13 World Championship podiums: 4 Olympic Games starts: 3