„I was really pleased to be better than the special jumpers!“

TUESDAY TALK: Tomas Portyk (CZE)

29 July 2014 07:59
Czech Republic's Tomas Portyk
Czech Republic's Tomas Portyk -
Sandra Volk

It was a big weekend for Tomas Portyk. At the past Czech national championships at Liberec, the 18-year-old walked away highly decorated: not only did he claim a total second place and the title of Czech junior national champion in Nordic Combined but can also call himself junior Czech champion in ski jumping from now on. TUESDAY TALK stopped by to hear about Portyk’s success weekend, the first Youth Olympic Games winner’s Olympic experience at Sochi and his new coach, Ladislav Rygl.

With Ladislav Rygl, your team got a new head coach this season. How has the cooperation been so far?

Tomas Portyk: Ladislav Rygl is a very good coach. He introduces new tactics and new ways of training, so I hope that everything will be even better in the future.

You were pretty successful at the nationals one week ago, claiming the junior titles in both Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping. We do hope you’re not thinking about changing disciplines?

Portyk: Yes, I am very happy with that weekend because two titles is super but mainly, I was really pleased to be better than the special jumpers! (laughs) 

A lot of people have actually asked me if I wanted to change the discipline but I am dedicated to Nordic Combined. Time will tell where I will end up in a couple of years but for now, it’s definitely Nordic Combined.

In the last winter, you were able to win your first ever jumping event during the World Cup competition in Trondheim. How was the experience?

Portyk: It was a gerat feeling because it took a really good jump to win the jumping event. But eventually, I would like to win the jumping event and be really quick on the track, too. And I hope that in a few years, I will be able to win the complete event.

Usually you’re having a little more trouble during the cross-country parts of the competitions. What is your goal in this area for the upcoming competitions?

Portyk: Yes, that’s true. But I started to do Nordic Combined when I was 14 years old and I hope that in a few years I'll reach my full potential cross-country-wise and then it will not be a problem anymore.

After being the winner of the first Youth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck in 2012, you experienced your first Olympic Games in Sochi in the last winter. Were the YOG an important step on the way to the Olympics for you?

Portyk: The YOG were definitely important and were a good preparation in some way. But even more important to me was every point I collected in the World Cup so far.