Up close and personal: Johannes Rydzek (GER)
Always wanted to get to know reigning World Champion Johannes Rydzek better? Here’s your chance! German youngster Jakob Lange and Italy’s Samuel Costa help out with some inside information.
How do you make yourself feel at home while traveling?
Last year, before the World Championships, my girlfriend gave me some self-made slippers as a present and I haven been taking those to all my competitions for good luck since then. So basically, I am floating through the hotel hallways like I’m home! (laughs) In addition to that, my mum usually packs some homemade sweets - perfect soul food for stressful days!
When was the last time you experienced a perfect day (and what happened?)?
Actually, I am trying to make the best of every day - this works out well sometimes, sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it doesn’t work at all. This might sound quite philosophical now but you’re just having more fun with this mindset - hakuna matata!
The day I became World Champion was pretty amazing, especially as I got to share it with my family and girlfriend.
But I also had an amazing day in spring now: bluebird conditions and powder! First I went on a trip to some (many) mountaintops with the best downhills and finished it off with a great end of the day - such a day is just fantastic as well!
If your life was made into a movie, who should play you?
I’m having a clear favourite: Superman actor Henry Cavill!
If you had to pick a job today (other than athlete, of course), what would you like to be?
Hmm, well I am studying industrial engineering but I think it would be too early for me to enter that kind of job at the moment. Product tester for freeride and mountain equipment, topped off with doing some outdoor videos - this is something I could live with! (laughs)
What would be the hardest thing for you to give up?
My family, my girlfriend and my friends - but I will never have to give them up because they will always be by my side, supporting me.
To which song do you dance when nobody is watching?
„Pocahontas“ by AnnenMayKantereit. I didn’t even realise I was doing it until my girlfriend caught me the other day! (laughs)
Best buddies: Jakob Lange (GER) & Samuel Costa (ITA)
How did you meet (what’s your first memory of him?)?
Samuel: It was 2011 in Otepää and Johannes won the Junior World Championships. I gratulated him for his victory, this was the first time I spoke to him.
Jakob: I met him at my very first World Cup competition in Schonach in the winter of 2012/13. We shared a room and that has stayed this way at competitions and training camps ever since then. Before that I really only knew him from TV.
What do you like about him?
Jakob: I like that you can watch „House of Cards“, „Suits“ and such so well with him. (laughs)
Samuel: His Audi car! (laughs) Joking aside, he is friendly with everybody but the most important thing is that he is a very humble person and that is not always a given when you become that successful in sport.
What makes him into a champion?
Samuel: His determination. If he wants something he uses all his energy to archive his goal but he is still having fun doing it.
Jakob: He has unique ambition, willpower and commitment.
Funniest memory with him?
Jakob: I cannot reveal that one here! (laughs). Actually, that’s really hard to say. We always have tons of fun, training in Oberstdorf as well as when we’re on the road with the team. Sometimes this leads into the next river… with full roller-skiing equipment. (laughs)
Samuel: We were supposed to do some easy mountain running with Johannes and his friends. After it turned into very fast and intensive running we reached a mountain lake and everybody just jumped in the freezing cold lake. (laughs)
If you could ask him any question, what would it be?
Jakob: How does it feel to cross the finish line as a World Champion, as was this especially sweet after the misfortune and drama in Sochi?
Samuel: Can you tell me the recipe of the Käsespatzeln?