Behind the scenes with … Toni Guggemoos (FIS)
While the Junior World Championships are going on, it's perfect timing to check in with Continental Cup Coordinator Toni Guggemoos who is also in charge of this highlight of the season for the young athletes. Toni, who has been working for the FIS Continental Cup since the season of 2008/09, takes care of a multitude of different tasks in regards to the competitions for juniors and aspiring World Cup athletes and took the time to sit down with fis-ski.com to give an insight into his busy days.
Toni, can you sum up briefly what your main tasks are as the COC Coordinator?
Toni Guggemoos: Well, I would say generally I represent the interests of the athletes and teams towards the organisers. I coordinate all COC venues, find the dates for the competitions, nominate the TDs and TDAs in cooperation with Race Director Lasse Ottesen and the Chairman of the Committee for Officials, Rules and Control, Günter Csar. But mainly, I am troubleshooting on location when something comes up and try to find good solutions for the teams with the organisers.
During the competition I am responsible for the equipment control and of course in relation to that, I monitor that all the athlete data like size, arm length and so on is correct as well as working with the coaches to ensure they make correct suits. On top of that I am present at certain World Cup or Summer Grand Prix competitions to work together with my colleague Guntram Kraus to ensure we're on the same page when it comes to equipment control.
In terms of the general procedures in Continental Cup, I need to make sure that everything goes according to the standard. The sporting facilities have to have a certain standard, the teams have to have good facilities for changing and waxing, the prize giving ceremonies need to follow the same procedures, the media information needs to go out after the competition and so on. But we are on a good standard by now with all of the OCs, so I am very happy about the work of the last years.
What have you done before you started to work as FIS COC Coordinator?
Guggemoos: I have started out as a TD in Ski Jumping and in Nordic Combined and jumping judge. I have also been Chief of Competition at the Four Hills New Year's competition in my hometown of Garmisch-Partenkirchen for many years. This is how I got to know Walter Hofer and after the FIS Confgress in Barcelona, he asked me if I wanted to start working as a Coordinator for the Nordic Combined Continental Cup. That was a big honour for me. Ever since then I have tried to lift the COC to a standard where everybody can be satisfied.
Having worked for both disciplines you should be able to compare Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined quite well. What would you say is special about Nordic Combined?
Guggemoos: It's the ultimate discipline of Nordic ski sports. It's not easy to be top in two disciplines on one day, to have the elasticity needed for the takeoff in ski jumping and the endurance for the cross-country race. It's fascinating that these athletes can do it both. It's like in pentathlon, the more disciplines you have, the harder it is for the body to coordinate all skills needed.
What do you like most about your job?
Guggemoos: I like to meet young athletes and see how enthusiastic they are and how happy they are when they are successful. It's also quite fascinating how the handle being disqualified by me. There's no complaining or long discussions. A mistake has been made, it doesn't matter if by the coach or athlete but they see that they are treated fairly. I also like working with the international group of TDs, TDAs and local organisers. In general, I am happy I can be a part of this sports world which has always been very near and dear to my heart.
Can you name one moment which was the best point in time in your job so far?
Guggemoos: Oh, that's hard. There were so many nice moments, be it in Continental Cup competitions or Junior World Championships like now. There are so many great moments which is why I am quite thankful that I can do this job.
If you had one wish for Nordic Combined, what would you change compared to now?
Guggemoos: If I had one wish it would be that there are not always the same organisers doing a COC competition. It would be great if there were more nations and different venues who said yes to hosting a COC weekend.
As a last question: What is your goal for this winter?
Guggemoos: Of course you have certain goals before each season. The most important one is that we can have all planned competitions and especially without accidents and injuries. That's the most important thing. For next winter, it would be to meet up with the organisers, TDs and TDAs and other officials again and work together for the good of the sport. That's what we do in this little ski family.