Severin Freund: "It's gaining momentum"
Severin Freund had to undergo hip surgery after last season and the best German ski jumper of the recent years was not able to return to the hill until late August. Now it might be possible that he can make his comeback in a competition already next weekend in Hinzenbach (AUT).
FIS Ski Jumping spoke with the 28-year-old.
FIS Ski Jumping: How are you Severin? What is the current state of your health?
Severin Freund: Speaking from a medical perspective everything is perfect. As an athlete you tend to say that something is not right or that it doesn't feel the way it's supposed to. You can tell that you couldn't train the way you wanted to for five months, that's a relatively long time. Especially considering that, subconsciously, I probably did things differently in winter already because there was some kind of problem. That's why I noticed that I was lacking the right feeling when I started jumping again. By now I made a few more jumps and things are slowly gaining momentum again.
FIS Ski Jumping: The reason for all these problems was your crash in Innsbruck, right? But you continued jumping after that.
Freund: Yes. A labrum tear can't be compared to, for example, an ACL tear, when it's clear immediately that you can't do anything anymore. It's an injury with which you can live with pretty well, but what you need in ski jumping, like the extreme flexibility in the inrun position or the speed-strength, is suffering. I always had therapy and took pain killers. The normal feeling wasn't there, it was always a bit strange and this didn't just go away. The problems caused by the injury were not big enough to force me to stop and the results were good. You don't simply end the season early when you are second in the overall World Cup. After the season I was hoping that it would solve itself with a little rest. It did get better, but the basic problem was still there. Another x-ray examination then showed that something had to be done and this was the hip arthroscopy. After that you are not allowed to stress the hip and that's why the recovery process takes a bit longer.
It might sound a strange, but actually I was happy about this diagnosis. As an athlete you have a different relationship to your body and also a different feeling. When you notice that something is not hundred percent right and you are told that everything is okay it would have been more difficult to start the new season.
FIS Ski Jumping: You are not back at the hill. What's your schedule now? When do you think you will be able to compete again?
Freund: I definintely want to compete again at the start of the winter season. This is very, very realistic. Right now it's still open what's possible for the events in Hinzenbach and Klingenthal. I'm somebody who likes to have a competition before the winter. It's always easier when you achieve good results in the final summer Grand Prix events, but this wouldn't be that important for me this year. It would be a possibility to test how I function in a competition: I'm I on the same level as in training, is the performance worse than in training or can I even show better jumps. Next week we will have to see if it's possible to compete, or if it's better to train instead.
FIS Ski Jumping: This means that there's a chance we will see you in Hinzenbach. When will you make the final decision?
Freund: I can't tell, because I won't make this decision alone but with the coaches. We also handled it the same way when I had the back problems. Back then I really wanted to jump again, but the coaches said: "It's not looking that easy when you make a normal jump from the floor. You better wait another week." This can go in both directions. It can also be the case that it looks better from the outside than what your feeling tells you. The feeling is simply different when you already made hundreds of jumps. That's why this decision is made together with the coaches and so I can't say anything about it right now. If I would jump in Hinzenbach and it would go well, then I'll also take part in Klingenthal.
At the end of the interview we asked Severin Freund to tell us what he thinks characterizes the currently strongest ski jumpers. Here are his answers:
What makes him strong is the lever ratio, the long distance he uses to put pressure on the take-off table and the extreme height can he can get right after the table.
Consistency, consistency, consistency on an extremely high level.
How fast he gets in the flying position and how effective his flight is.
He actually has a very unspectacular system, but when you look at it closely, things like the V-shape or the position of his body are very thought-out and it can also be very effective.
I think that I'm a pretty detail oriented person and so I can really focus on all the details. When I'm in a good shape, my jump is not really dependent on the conditions, but can work well under all conditions at the hill.
FIS Ski Jumping: Thank you very much Severin! We are looking forward to maybe seeing you in Hinzenbach.