On the verge: Szczepan Kupczak (POL)
"On the verge" focusses on the athletes to watch. Coming from the Continental Cup or gaining experience in the World Cup already, they have had good results but they are not quite there yet.
But just interviewing these young hopefuls would have been too easy. Instead, they were asked to name their best buddies on the tour: one best friend on their own team and the international athlete they are getting along with best. These two athletes will try to shed a little more light on who is waiting in the wings of Nordic Combined to maybe steal the spotlight in the future.
These days, no weekly series about promising Nordic Combined athletes makes sense without having a look at the young Polish team which turned heads last winter by taking almost all of the Nordic Combined gold medals at the Universiade in Trentino. One member of this team is 21-year-old Szczepan Kupczak and by casting a closer look at him, we also have a „On the verge“ premiere: he is the first athlete getting portrayed by his own brother. Enjoy this „special“ introduction by Kacper Kupczak and best international buddy Tomas Slavik!
Who is Szczepan Kupczak?
World Cup starts: 3
Best individual World Cup result: 35th in Kuusamo in 2013
Best SGP result: 18th in Villach in 2013
Continental Cup starts: 25
See more statistics about Szczepan here! http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/athlete-biography.html?sector=NK&competitorid=162407&type=stats
Best buddies: brother Kacper Kupczak (POL) & Tomas Slavik (CZE)
How long have you known each other?
Tomas: Szczepan is a young guy, so I have only known him for about two years now. But we got to know each other better on the New Year’s trip to Chaikovskiy last winter! (laughs)
What do you like about him?
Kacper: Well, as his brother, I gotta say he is not a great guy at all! Sometimes he just ignores me and he really is too stubborn! But we live together, so I have to like him … there are better and worse days, I guess. (laughs)
Tomas: He is a good guy! I also try to speak to him in Polish, that is pretty funny for me most of the time.
Why can he become a champion in Nordic Combined?
Tomas: He is a very good ski jumper and if he learns how to push more on the cross-country track, I think he has the potential to grow into an athlete among the best in Nordic Combined.
Kacper: That’s easy. He can’t become a Nordic Combined champion because I will be the champion already! (laughs)
What do you think has been his toughest moment in the sport so far?
Tomas: I remember that during the team event in Falun last year, Szczepan was the next to jump but it was just sooo windy that day. I think he had to go down from the bar about six times. Then the competition was cancelled. That must have been a pretty tough time.
Kacper: I think that was when he finished high school and broke his elbow in Innsbruck. He was thinking a lot about quitting the sport back then.
Which success is he most proud of?
Tomas: I would guess winning the team gold at the Universiade last year.
Kacper: He was very happy when he won gold at the Universiade in Trentino with Pawel Slowiok and Adam Cieslar. And I also think he was quite proud at the Summer Grand Prix in Villach when he managed to improve his place after the ski jump.
What is the weirdest/funniest thing he does when it’s only athletes around him?
Tomas: Hmm, I really can’t come up with something right now.
Kacper: That’s hard for me to answer because everything he does is pretty normal for me, having lived with this for quite some years now! (laughs) But he is unpredictable and brainless sometimes! (laughs)