Ladies in the Spotlight: Annemarii Bendi (EST)
Second in the „Ladies in the Spotlight“ series is Estonia’s Annemarii Bendi. The 15-year-old has been a fixture on the Youth Cup in the past seasons and will now start in the Youth II category and compete for the overall for the first time ever in the upcoming winter.
Can you tell us a little bit how your career as an athlete has gone so far? When did you start skiing and jumping?
Bendi: I started with running, skiing and bike riding before school. It was in the third grade that I started to take Ski Jumping and skiing more seriously.
Do you have any favourite athletes or role models in the Nordic Combined World Cup?
Bendi: Yes, I do. That would be Eric Frenzel from Nordic Combined and Gregor Schlierenzauer and Peter Prevc from Ski jumping.
How is the situation for ladies in Nordic Combined in your country at the moment? Did you have the opportunity to training both, cross-country and ski jumping until now?
Bendi: The oldest girls who are actively doing Nordic Combined are about 14-15 years old but with every year, there are younger girls starting with Nordic Combined. We have very good training possibilities. In the winter we have ski jumping and skiing trainings and in the summer we have summer ski jumping and roller skiing trainings.
In the upcoming winter, we will have an overall ranking for Ladies in Nordic Combined for the first time ever in the history of the discipline. Are you excited about the development?
Bendi: Yes, I am very excited about this. (laughs)
Estonia will host a Nordic Combined World Cup in Otepää in 2018, and has applied for the first-ever Ladies' COC at the same time. How exciting is it for you to have this happen in your home country?
Bendi: I am really proud that our country can host such an important competition. I hope our athletes will represent our country in the best possible way.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
Bendi: My main goal is to achieve good results in the FIS Youth Cup. I won two bronze medals last year at the Youth Cup in Harrachov, so the podium will be my goal also for this season. In the future I would like to compete in World Championships.