Atmosphere and audience were decisive for Klingenthal

17 November 2013 10:20
Walter Hofer explains the decision to start the season in Klingenthal
Walter Hofer explains the decision to start the season in Klingenthal -
FIS

For many it came as a surprise, that the 2013/14 World Cup season starts in Germany and not, as usual, in the far north of Europe. But the officials of the FIS were already thinking about carrying out the opening weekend somewhere else for a while.

"Actually the idea to start the season in central Europe was on our minds for some time. Decisive for the implementation were the experiences we gained in Sochi. With technological support we were able to prepare the hill with temperatures above zero. This offered us the chance to think about it and look for the right organizer", explained race director Walter Hofer.

Klingenthal seized the opportunity, issued an application and was selected to host the opening. "If you consider all factors, like the atmosphere and the audience, we thought about this venue relatively soon, because the organizers have already proven in the past that they can carry out a World Cup under difficult conditions, but never had a chance to host a weekend event. We wanted to use this chance. If we are able to establish something that is viable in the medium term we would be very happy."

Although there are no major changes concerning the rules this season that athletes and fans will have to get used to, there's one innovation that will especially be of interest to the fans attending an event. "What's new, and that is especially important for the spectators at the hill, is that they will see a line that indicates how far an athlete has to jump in order to take the lead", said Hofer. Also the athletes themselves will get an orientation from this line that is projected on the landing area. "Of course we also asked the jumpers. They would be happy if they could see the distance they have to reach. Technology will show if we can do that."