Janne Ahonen: "I need this pressure"
When the 2013/14 World Cup season begins on Friday with the official training and the qualification in Klingenthal, one man will be especially in the center of public interest: Finnish ski jumping legend Janne Ahonen. The 36-year-old starts his second comeback in the World Cup this weekend.
The first time Ahonen thought about starting to jump again and dare another try was last winter. "It was before the 4-Hills-Tournament. I was watching ski jumping on TV and thought: "Oh, this weather would be perfect for me, it could be a good competition." And I started to ask myself if I would still have a chance to be successful. I began to think about it more and more and started to miss ski jumping", the five-time 4-Hills-Tournament winner told in an interview with the German newspaper "Die Welt".
Also the recently bad results of the Finnish team played a role in his decision to start again. "Somehow this was also a reason to come back. I thought: If the ski jumping in Finland is so bad, maybe it helps if I return. The people are desperately waiting for success, that's the same for me. I like these situations, I need this pressure."
Main goals: 4-Hills and the Olympics
For Janne Ahonen, whose medal collection is still lacking an Olympic medal in an individual event, Sochi 2014 is of course a goal, but not, as often speculated, the main reason to jump again. "Of course the Winter Games in Sochi are the highlight of the winter, but this was not the reason for my comeback. The 4-Hills-Tournament and the Olympic Games are my main goals. In the past it always went pretty well for me at the 4-Hills-Tournament. I want to win medals - at the 4-Hills and at the Olympics", Ahonen is quoted on welt.de.
The two time overall World Cup winner also draws motivation from the fact that a lot of people don't believe he can be among the best again. "Everyone is skeptical, I know. Well, apart from my friends and people of the ski jumping circuit, who know that I have a chance to be successful again. Otherwise I would not try it. But everyone else here in Finland, and also the media, does not believe in me. This gives me additional motivation - I like situations like that, it makes me stronger."
The veteran will represent Finland in the Vogtland-Arena in Klingenthal together with Lauri Asikainen, Janne Happonen and Olli Muotka.