Tommy Schmid takes a break
Now it's official: Tommy Schmid announced on his website that he wants to follow his brother Jan and get the Norwegian citizenship. Already late April he told that the doesn't want to compete next season. As the reason for this decision he said that due to health problems he was often not able to reach the limits in the past. That's why he wanted to give his body enough time to recover and focus more on his studies.
Tommy Schmid, who has Swiss parents and was born in Trondheim (NOR) 1988, made his debut in the World Cup for Switzerland in 2007 and achieved his best result with a second place in Zakopane in the following year. After disappointing results last season he was already thinking about retirement in December. During the rest of the season the decision became clear: "It can't go on like this. I hope that with a competition break of a year and I can get back to the level where I think I belong", Schmid writes on his website. "I have the feeling that there has to be a cut in the complete training environment."
In the past years journalists and friends always asked Schmid the question whether he wants to follow the example of his brother Jan, who is successfully competing for Norway since the 206/07 season. So far Schmid, who always lived in Trondheim, has planned to change the citizenship after his career. "I didn't want to leave the impression that I abandon my friends in the Swiss team or that I, somehow, deprive them of time, money or support just to change sides then." But because of the competition break Schmid now sees the chance to change the nation without alienating somebody. "I asked to not be part of the team next year. I think that the travelling, the pressure within the team and the close contact to the coaches are not positive for a new start. That's way I came to the conclusion that my time as a Swiss nordic combined athlete is over."
Schmid also told that the decision to become a Norwegian was not made only because of the sport. Factors like feeling home, the Norwegian language and the bigger indentification with Norway were decisive. "When my brother changed his citizenship I was only 17 and too young to make this decision." Five years later he came to similar insights like his brother back then. "I want to thank everyone in Switzerland who helped and supported me and competed with and against me. I don't expect everybody to be happy, but I hope they understand", said Schmid.
Schmid submitted the request to change the nation about a month ago and is now waiting for the answer. If everything goes according to plan he will be able to compete for Norway in 2013.
Mariele Stockinger / Silke Tegethof