David Siegel: "It was an exciting year"
David Siegel gained some attention recently with his win of the individual competition at the German ski jumping championships in Oberhof. The reigning two-time Junior World Champion also achieved very good results in the last World Cup season and in this year's FIS Grand Prix. Shortly before the start of the 2016/17 season we had to chance to do an interview with him.
FIS Ski Jumping: The ski jumping fans don't know you that long. Maybe you can introduce yourself.
David Siegel: My name is David Siegel, I'm 20 years old and I'm from the beautiful Black Forest region in Germany. I started ski jumping when I was five and since this year I'm a member of the German national team. I started as a nordic combined skier in the club SV Baiersbronn, 2010 I become a ski jumper. Besides the jumping I enjoy listening to music, watching movies and I like every sport with a ball.
FIS Ski Jumping: You surprised many with your win at the German championships. How much of a surprise was this success for you personally?
Siegel: It was also very surprising for me! I knew that it went well so far in summer and that we made great progress, but I expected Markus Eisenbichler or Andreas Wellinger to win the title.
FIS Ski Jumping: Last winter you became Junior World Champion, in summer your best result in the Grand Prix was a great fifth place in Hinterzarten, now you took the title in Oberhof. How do you see your progress over the past year?
Siegel: Yes, it was really an exciting year for us. We, the coaches and myself, didn't pressure ourselves and continued working and training consequently. We made good progress in all the fields we were focusing on. This was, on the one hand, the strength at the take-off and the balance and, on the other hand, the mental training. It wasn't always easy, because I also had my final exams at the federal police. But now this gives me a lot of confidence and the necessary relaxed attitude.
FIS Ski Jumping: Many jumpers are always talking about the "perfect jump" as their big goal. What is a perfect jump for you and do you think you ever had one already?
Siegel: In my opinion there is no perfect jump, there are always things to improve. That's why I prefer great jumps. A great jump is when something positive happens that you didn't really expect. For me that was the case, for example, last winter at the 4-Hills-Tournament competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and also at the Junior World Championships in Rasnov, Romania. You remember such jumps for a very long time, you also dream about it months later.
FIS Ski Jumping: This summer you completed your training at the federal police. How important is it that you can now focus on the sport even more?
Siegel: The time of my police training was definitely not a disadvantage. Of course learning could be annoying, but at the same time it provided a counterbalance to the time on the hill. Next year I want to start taking courses to get the entrance qualification for a university of applied sciences.
FIS Ski Jumping: Germany has a strong team. Did you secure your spot on the team for the World Cup opening with winning the national title, or will there be another qualification?
Siegel: Last week Werner Schuster told me that I'll get to compete in the first World Cup.
FIS Ski Jumping: What are your goals for the upcoming winter season?
Siegel: I want to compete in all four events of the 4-Hills-Tournament and I want to fly over 200 m for the first time.
FIS Ski Jumping: You were one of the first athletes to jump with the new Verivox skis. What's its share in your success in the past months?
Siegel: Pierre Heinrich built the skis of Fluege.de, now he is building the skis of Verivox. He is doing a great job and supports us athletes as good as he can all the time. The equipment plays a big role in ski jumping, that's why it's very important to have such a reliable partner on your side. The successes over the last months were very nice, but they should not remain my biggest ones. That's why I'm really looking forward to the next winter and the future together with Verivox.
FIS Ski Jumping: Thank you very much for the interview and all the best for the winter season!
This interview is available in German on Berkutschi.com