Athlete of the Week: Miroslav Dvorak (CZE)
While the fight for the victory of the day and the yellow bib was on again between the big names of Nordic Combined like Magnus Moan and Jason Lamy Chappuis in Sunday's Individual Gundersen race in Schonach, another athlete suddenly appeared out of the thick fog over the cross-country track in Schonach at a very early time: Miroslav Dvorak. He improved a 21st rank after the ski jumping part into a career best fourth rank in a World Cup race. With a cross-country time of 25:12.2, he set the second best time of the day and was only slightly slower than Magnus Moan who is known for his cross-country strength.
Dvorak, who has been starting in 76 individual World Cups since 2006, had already been showing off promising results in the Summer Grand Prix where he was second in the race in Oberwiesenthal and claimed a strong fourth rank in the overall standings.
The beginning of this season turned him into an athlete to be reckoned with with his 8th and 12th rank in Lillehammer and another 6th place in Kuusamo which currently secure him a place among the top fifteen athletes in the World Cup. In Kuusamo, Dvorak had already been reaching for the podium as he was in a smaller group of athletes going for the top ranks when he stumbled and fell on the last uphill before the finish. "Of course I am happy about this result but also a little sad. But the next time, it will turn out to be better", Dvorak said after this race without knowing how right he would be.
In his leisure time, the 25-year-old, who always has an open smile for everybody, likes to ride the bike and play soccer, as well as listen to music. The Czech from Liberec was also able to gain a lot of title event experience as he can also look back on an impressive count of 3 Olympic games and 10 World Championship starts. Dvorak also won 3 bronze medals at the Junior World Championships in Rovaniemi 2005 and Kranj 2006. Reason enough for Dvorak to act as a patron for the Junior World Championships in his home country this January: "When the offer to become the Junior Championships' patron came, I was really pleased. I myself have great memories of the Junior World Championships thanks to the three bronze medals. I wish all participants to have a great time competing."
As of now, Dvorak definitely has to be taken into account when the podium places of the next competitions are given out. Maybe that "next time" will turn out even better for him.