Young & Wild: Manuel Faißt (GER)
As another athlete coming from a Nordic Combined family, Manuel Faißt also started out early with the sport, going down the outrun of a hill aged 4, making his first jump at 5 years of age - a moment captured in the picture below!
This time, there wasn't an older brother involved in passing on the interest in the sport but a sister: Manuel's sister Melanie, today a name in her own right in ladies ski jumping: "I started with Nordic Combined because my dad was a coach in Baiersbronn where I was born and my sister was around, too. So I went to try it, too, had tremendous fun and stuck with it until today", Manuel remembers.
The German starting for the club SV Baiersbronn never had any thoughts to stop or switch to another sport. "I think my biggest influence concerning the sport was definitely my dad. I have trained with him for most of my life and he definitely laid all the foundations for me to be successful today. During my youth, though, my idol was definitely Ronny Ackermann. Ronny becoming World Champion in Oberstdorf by overtaking Felix Gottwald in the last metres, that was quite a cool thing to watch for me as a youngster!"
The winter of 2012/13 saw Manuel taking a big step into this direction, too. Maybe a bit overshadowed by Eric Frenzel's amazing success, Manuel did his own "victory tour", first by being a part of the winning German team in the team event in Sochi, afterwards by doing a complete gold medal sweep at the Junior World Championships in Liberec.
With amazing routine, the 20-year-old who had also established himself quite firmly in the amazingly strong German World Cup team before, left his opponents behind in both the 5 and 10k-Individual Gundersen competitions as well as in the team event together with David Welde, Jakob Lange and Michael Schuller. As one of the most highly decorated "Young & Wild"-athletes, the direction "Ackermann" is definitely an option for the future if Manuel continues to grow as a skier at the same rate as he has been in the past.
6 questions with Manuel Faißt
Favourite competition/venue and why?
My favourite venue is of course Schonach. There are always plenty of visitors, my family is coming to watch and the "Schwarzwaldpokal" has a big tradition in Nordic Combined.
Something you've always wanted to say in an interview (...but were never allowed to!)
I think it would be funny to just stand there look in the camera and say nothing! (grins)
I couldn't live without...
Coffee! I would be tired half the day without coffee in the morning.
The mean question: ski jumping or cross-country skiing?
Ski jumping is not as hard as cross-country skiing. (laughs) And it´s an amazing feeling to fly through the air.
When I am not training for Nordic Combined, I like to ...
Study, cinema, cook, play football … just the normal things normal people do!
If you had to go to a deserted island, who would you take with you and why?
A genie in a bottle so that I would have three wishes (laughs)
Manuel Faisst Timeline
Born 11th of January, 1993
2007 First FIS Race
2009 First Continental Cup start
2009 First World Cup start
2010 First Junior World Championship start
The story so far…
27 World Cup starts
7 Junior World Championship individual starts (1 silver, Erzurum 2012, 2 gold medals, Liberec 2013)
2 Junior World Championship team starts (1 bronze, Erzurum, 2012, 1 gold, Liberec 2013)