Athlete of the World Championships: Johannes Rydzek
“I really don’t know what to say anymore” has almost become Johannes Rydzek’s default answer after racking up four gold medals in four starts at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti in the past two weeks and truly, what the 25-year-old achieved in this winter is difficult to describe in words.
The new “German Wunderkind” (following in the footsteps of superstar Eric Frenzel) would probably a fitting title for an athlete who is now one of the most decorated Nordic Combined athletes at World Championships ever. Six gold medals, four silvers and one bronze is the impressive total of Rydzek’s medal collection started in Oslo in 2011 and with four gold medals (out of a total of four medal chances), he can be termed the most successful athlete of Lahti2017 and a record-holder when it comes to success in Nordic Combined events.
Together with teammate Björn Kicheisen, Rydzek now holds the record of most decorated World Championship athlete in Nordic Combined: both have 12 medals to show for, more than previous record holder Felix Gottwald from Austria.
With all World Championship merits that Rydzek is accumulating, one thing should not be forgotten: the biggest fight, the one for the overall World Cup 2016/17 is still on - an bound to resume on the upcoming Saturday in Oslo. If Rydzek can crown his season with the overall title or if teammate Eric Frenzel can secure a record-breaking fifth straight overall victory remains to be seen. One thing is for sure: Johannes Rydzek’s performance in this winter is one for the history books.