TUESDAY TALK: Arttu Mäkiaho & Vinzenz Geiger
Right before getting started with the World Championships 2017 in Lahti, we took a moment to catch up with our two new Junior World Champions: Arttu Mäkiaho from Finland and Vinzenz Geiger from Germany. Both of them had great results in their age group and both are also nominated to their respective teams for the World Championships. In TUESDAY TALK, they speak about goals, experiences and their big breakthroughs.
Arttu, first of all congrats, two medals at the JWSC in Park City. Did you expect that such a performance was possible for you in Park City?
Arttu Mäkiaho: Thank you! I knew that if I can get a good day on the jumping hill, it could be possible to get medal. But the gold medal in the 10km race was a big surprise to me, so I was really happy about that! The sprint race was really hard because the differences in the jumping hill were a little bit too much. So lucky for me, ski track was pretty soft and weather warm!
The Finnish team has had some very bitter years in the past. Would you say that your performances are also important for the entire team to gain new self-esteem and validation for the work that has been done in the past years?
Mäkiaho: It was good for me but I think it was also pretty important for all of us. We have a young and strong team and everybody is doing very hard work to reach the top of the world in this sport! So this was like a milestone for our young team. Team Finland is coming back step by step!
You have also been named to the „home“ World Championship team for Lahti 2017 and suddenly you find yourself between successful names like Ilkka Herola and legend Hannu Manninen. What are your goals for the upcoming championships?
Mäkiaho: Yes it`s fantastic to compete with my idol Hannu Manninen! He is a legend and I really think that he can surprise us all at the World Championships. My goals are of course to get the best result of the season. Top 20 would be great! But after succesful races in Park City Im going to enjoy about the atmosphere and home races because it is a once in a lifetime chance!
How have you spent the last days from the Junior World Championships until the Lahti 2017 championships now?
Mäkiaho: I have been at home in Vuokatti. I had little bit of school this week and needed some rest after the hard races in the USA. Skiing and jumping conditions have been great here and I have loaded my battery for Lahti! (laughs)
Vinzenz, after you were struggling a bit in the first competition in the USA, you managed to get the coveted Junior World Championship title in the second one. How relieved were you?
Vinzenz Geiger: I of course wanted a medal and in the competition, I just had this one last chance. So yes, I was pretty relieved when it worked out in the end.
How important is it to you to have a World Cup start right by name in the next season and not having to worry about team nominations?
Geiger: It’s great that I can start the next season with peace of mind now. I don’t have to worry because I know that I am allowed to start in the World Cup.
It can be well and truly said that you had your breakthrough this winter: you’re a fixed part of the World Cup team, took your first podium result in Ramsau am Dachstein, won the Junior World Champion title and are nominated for the World Championships in Lahti now, and this with the very high level of performance of the team in general. Is is sometimes hard to believe what happened?
Geiger: Oh definitely. If you had told me before the season that it is going to be like this, I wouldn’t have believed it.
How are you doing right now and what have you been up to since the Junior World Championships ended?
Geiger: I had a cold after coming back from the Junior World Championships but I am doing better now. We had our preparation camp for the World Championships in Oberstdorf this week, so that’s how I spent the last couple of days.