TT - Eric Frenzel: "Kuusamo is something special!"
As the season draws nearer and nearer, of course we had to catch up with World Champion and overall World Cup winner Eric Frenzel. In this edition of TUESDAY TALK, the 24-year-old German talks about the pressure of being the hunted, the excitement of the upcoming season and the hustle and bustle of media and sponsor dates.
Eric, you're definitely going into the season as "the hunted one", as World Champion and reigning overall World Cup winner. Is this putting more pressure on you as you have something to lose as this Olympic season comes closer or does it actually help you to stay calm as nobody can take your successes away from you anymore?
Eric Frenzel: I don't think I am putting more pressure on myself before this season. I will be going to Kuusamo exactly like the others, without any advantages. When the season starts we all start at zero, so I have no fears of actually losing anything. My past successes have surely been great for my confidence. I know what I am able to achieve and had many experiences I can draw back on now but this is something which you have to learn to use in a positive way for yourself.
How would you rate your preparations over the summer in comparison to other years? Has everything gone according to plan?
Frenzel: My summer preparation has gone really well, I had no problems with my health or injuries. I was also able to attend a lot of appointments but without neglecting my training over this. This hasn't been easy because we wanted to extend the training volumes for the cross-country part even more which basically means you need more time to do it but it has worked out quite well and everything is developing as planned.
You just mentioned sponsor and media commitments. Can you tell us a little more about what you did in this regard over the summer?
Frenzel: Sure. My biggest highlights were the "Champion of the Year"-award and the shooting of my TV spot for Zurich Sports. The shooting of this commercial was something really special for me as it was my first shoot of this scope. I am very proud to work together with a partner as big as Zurich Insurances. We had a lot of fun shooting the commercial and the whole crew was so nice even though it was a very full one and a half days! In my opinion, the final result looks really great.
The "Champion of the Year"-award was a very nice event once again. It is a great opportunity to get to know a lot of medal winners from all the other sports, to go on a holiday for a week and meet everyone in a relaxed atmosphere. Of course it was a pity that again, I didn't win the award but I certainly hope there will be more chances to win it in the next years.
Other than that I had a bunch of other, smaller events for my sponsors or foundations.
Do you generally feel that the media interest is growing before this Olympic season? Is it hard to not have this influence the training too much?
Frenzel: I would certainly say there is a bigger interest but this is the way it should be. It is a very positive development. This being said, of course it is hard to arrange everything: training, regeneration, family, my studies and all these appointments. I had to make sure that it all went smoothly without my training or my family suffering for it. But my family is supporting me and my coaches have had a very active role in enabling me to do certain media and sponsor activities which made everything so much easier.
What are your goals for the first part of the season now?
Frenzel: For me it's important to get a good start into the season. The faster I am getting into a good shape in the jumping part, the better. Due to that, I don't have any goals that can be measured in results and ranks but I am aiming to do things the right way. I will see what the results will be and where I have to improve some more.
What would you say, why can you take the Olympic gold medal? What is your strong suit in contrast to the competition?
Frenzel: Well, if I told you this now, everybody would know it, right? (laughs) I am afraid I can't let that secret out just yet!
What are you looking forward to the most when you think of Kuusamo?
Frenzel: Hmm, how can I say it… Kuusamo is something special. You could say it's always cold, always windy and always dark but when you're there you know: it's beginning now, the season is really here. I am definitely looking forward to the competitions because I like the hill and the track!