Brothers on Skis: The Kupczaks (POL)
The next edition of „Brothers on Skis“ is dedicated to a young pair of brothers from Poland who have set out to conquer the Nordic Combined world for their country: Szczepan and Kacper Kupczak. While 19-year-old Kacper is still waiting for his debut in the World Cup, older brother Szczepan has already been able to collect some experiences in the 2013/14 season and has delivered a podium result at the 2015 Universiade in Strbske Pleso.
What is the best thing about having your brother involved in the same sport/occupation as you?
Szczepan: It’s great because we can spend a lot of time together. We have a few funny moments in sports life but of course we have bad days too. It really helps when you’re not alone. We are stronger together. That makes our life interesting! (laughs)
Kacper: It is nice to have a brother involved in the same sport because we can train together and cheer each other on. But the best is that when one does not want to go to practice, has weak day or just gives up, your brother understands you and he knows what you need. So he can always motivate me – even if he has to shout! (laughs)
Growing up in the sport together, how did you handle the sibling rivalry? Was there ever a point where one of you was really unhappy that the other one was doing better?
Kacper: This kind of situation took place only in childhood- then Szczepan envied me, and also I- him. But when we were growing up, I could understand that we are working on joint success. So if Szczepan wins, then I’m happy - because at least he wins and is successful.
Szczepan: Well, competition is competition and if you’re battling it out, you don’t have brothers. That’s the way it is in sports. I know it and Kacper knows it, too. Sometimes I’m better, sometimes it’s Kacper, so it has mainly been a 50/50 thing.
What do your parents think about both of you being involved in the sport professionally?
Szczepan: I have never really thought about that because to do this was my choice. I think they were scared in the the early time because they were like “ski jumping???“ but later it became normal. So now it’s ok… I hope! (laughs)
Kacper: Not only our parents but the whole family thinks that we are good sportsmen. I never felt that Szczepan is better than me in the eyes of my parents. Everybody in our home know that Nordic Combinated is a difficult sport so they respect both of us. And they know when they have to push us to work.
Would sharing a World Cup or Continental Cup podium with your brother in the future be a special moment in your career?
Kacper: I suppose that would be great, yes! It will be very nice to be on the podium with my brother – this would be a very important moment in my and his career. Two Polish Nordic Combined athletes on one Word Cup podium – that is my dream.
Szczepan: I am very sure that would not only be great for us but it would also be a very special time for the whole Polish Nordic Combined team.
Him or you?
Who of you is more impulsive and more prone to be in a bad mood after a bad result?
Szczepan: KACPER!! (laughs)
Kacper: I think that could be me. I’m very angry when something is going wrong. Not only in sports results… (laughs)
Who has more success with the ladies? ;)
Szczepan: Kacper. He is more interesting than me! (laughs) I’m boring!
Kacper: I’m afraid that both of us have a problem with this… (laughs) But I think the more successful one is Szczepan – He is nice and knows how to talk to girls. I have really difficult character and also not too much time for dates. But I’m young so I have hope on future in this area. (laughs)
Who was more of a mama’s boy?
Kacper: Of course Szczepan! (laughs) He is oldest, so first son and because of that he always was more mama's son. I think that he was mama's boy, and had the support from our father. I was his favourite son, so I also had it easier - especially in childhood.
Szczepan: I have to say, that’s also Kacper because I have always been be a rude boy and never gave my mother a break! (laughs) Sorry, mum!
Whose jokes are funnier?
Szczepan: Definitely Kacper. I only have the power to destroy jokes! (laughs)
Kacper: I think that I'm funnier than Szczepan but only within in the family or friend circle. When we meet new people, Szczepan is more communicative. I'm a little embarrassed or shy... So only when I know someone well, I'm really me.
Who was/is the better student in school?
Szczepan: Finally!!! One thing that I am better at! Kacper is terrible in school. (laughs) I’m not very good but still better! (laughs)
Kacper: That’s a simple question - Szczepan, of course. I never had any academic ability, so Szczepan was the better student - I always was more practical so I decided go in sports area in my life and I'm happy with this choice.