Experience personified: Wilhelm Denifl
In the second edition of "Experience personified", FISNC took a closer look at Austria's Willi Denifl. While 33-year-old Denifl is not the oldest athlete in the Austrian team, he has definitely seen his fair share of competitions in his 14-year World Cup career so far. With his first individual victory just this winter has finally managed to put his name into the lists of World Cup winners of Nordic Combined, proving once more that experience is not to be underestimated in this sport.
What would you says is the main difference between Nordic Combined when you started with it and Nordic Combined as it is today?
That is very clear: It's the closeness between the athletes when it comes to the level of performance. I also have to name the professionalism with which all of the nations are working today.
How do you view the development of the sport these days, especially also in regards to Ladies Nordic Combined?
With a heavy heart! One of the last male bastions fell! … (laughs) Just kidding of course! I think it's great. It also shows what kind of status we have achieved for the discipline of Nordic Combined. It's just a great sport.
I am quite sure Ladies Nordic Combined has a big future ahead and for our discipline it's really positive. The spectators in the stadiums will be able to see more sports and we're infectious anyway. Everybody who has seen Nordic Combined live is hooked and stays that way!
If you had one wish for the future of Nordic Combined, what would it be?
My wish would be that Nordic Combined continues to evolve in this great way and that we are able to have fun in full stadiums.
Something you have always wanted to say in an interview?
Not everybody at the same time, please! (laughs)
Do you have any plans for after your active career?
Yes, I definitely do and when the time is right, I will work at turning them into reality.
Willi Denifl Facts
Favourite venue: I have two. Kuusamo for once because of the hill and Seefeld because of the fantastic atmosphere!
Favourite format: My favourite format is the classic 2 jumps and 15 kilometres. Luckily we are getting it back a little bit at the moment.
First World Cup start: 16.01.2000 Breitenwang (AUT)
First World Cup podium: 25.02.2012 Liberec (CZE)
World Cup starts: 209
World Cup podiums: 5
World Cup victories: 1
World Championship podiums: 2
World Championship wins: 1
Olympic Games starts: 1