Simon Ammann: "Top result would be a little miracle"
4-time Olympic Champion Simon Ammann didn't set any high goals for himself for the first competitions of the new season.
"A top result in the World Cup opening would be a little miracle. I can't set any particular goals at the moment. But it can work until Engelberg", the Swiss told in an interview with the newspaper "Neue Zuercher Zeitung".
After the two falls in Oberstdorf and Bischofshofen last winter, the 34-year-old has decided to land with the right foot in front from now on and to also change other details of his jumping technique. "It was a very long process, especially mentally. I not only want to land with the right foot in front, instead of the left, but I also want to change the second part of the flight, so the whole jump will get smoother. This slowed down the process significantly. In addition I also had to make sure that I don't lose my strength at the take-off and during the transition to the flying phase", said Ammann.
"At the landing my body's center of gravity is often placed too far forward, I also estimate the height wrongly and therefore start the movement for the landing maybe a tenth of a second too early. I'm still in the air, when I should already have landed, lose the tension and fall down. The possibilities to work on the landing during the training on the hill are limited. The landing is the final element of a jump. If something doesn't go as wished at the take-off or in the air, the jump is mostly already useless for working on the landing."
These problems are also the reason why Simon Ammann doesn't know yet, what the first few weeks of the upcoming season will look like for him. "There are different scenarios. I want to compete with the best in Klingenthal in order to see where I stand, but the planning remains flexible. Maybe I'll participate in Kuusamo after Klingenthal, maybe a few training sessions away from it all will seem to be more reasonable."
Return to Bischofshofen already in fall
The crash in the final event of the last 4-Hills-Tournament doesn't seem to pose any problems anymore after a training in Bischofshofen this fall and should not get in the way of a possible success there. "It was a beautiful day, nobody else was training. It was only about the hill and me. After the first jump I felt enormous emotions, similar to what I felt at the Olympic Games 2002 in Salt Lake City. I regained unknown territory. I don't remember the crash, I only know that something went terribly wrong."
Besides the 4-Hills-Tournament and the Ski Flying World Championships, the Swiss has another big goal for what might be his last season in the World Cup: The perfect jump. "It would just be stupid if this would happen in training and nobody sees it", Simon Ammann is quoted on nzz.ch.