Thomas Morgenstern: "Never give up"
For Thomas Morgenstern, the last season was a season full of ups and downs. A fall in Titisee-Neustadt, followed by the second place in the 4-Hills-Tournament. Then the serious fall at the ski flying event in Bad Mitterndorf, a few weeks later Silver in the team competition at the Olympic Games in Sochi. Since then the Austrian didn't take part in any World Cup competition, he hasn't decided yet whether he will continue his career. Now he gave some insights into his feelings and emotions on the website of Red Bull.
"I'm in the hospital. Again. But why? I don't know. My body hurts. My face, my neck, my head, my back, everything. I'm connected to various devices. I rack my brain over how this happened. I can't remember", he told about the first moments after waking up in the hospital in Salzburg. "Questions are going round in my head. I know that many of them can't be answered yet. I have to focus on my recovery now and be patient. But unfortunately patience has never been a strength of mine..."
The first question that had to be answered was the one about the reason for the fall at the "Kulm" ski flying hill. "Why? How did this happen? Was it my fault? If yes, what did I do wrong? My heart starts beating faster, when I push the play-button. I see a stranger going down the inrun, jump and fall. It was as if it wasn't me who is sliding down the inrun unconscious with 100 km/h. I felt uneasy, but also somehow unemotional. Good, that I was watching it. I know enough. I close the laptop. I was facing the truth. Once. That's enough."
Already shortly afterwards the focus of the Olympic Champion of 2006 was on the Olympic Games in Sochi. "Now it's about training, as good as I can. My big goal is the Olympics. This motivates me, when I get out of bed in the morning with a stiff neck. Heinz Kuttin comes to the hospital almost every day, he gives me the feeling of trust. Like many others, he plays an important role in the fact that I have less questions in my head and I'm optimistic when it comes to my big goal."
Besides the goal Sochi, there are also thoughts about a possible career end, also when he's playing with his little daughter Lilly. "I ask myself what she would tell me. Dad you can do it? Dad please quit ski jumping? I don't know. This thought makes me a little sad. But at the end there's only one person who can make this decision. Me. The doctors gave me the green light, the therapists, my coach, the Austrian Ski Association. The ball is in my corner. I don't know the definite answer."
An especially important moment on the way back for the 27-year-old was the first jump in Oberstdorf. "Heinz waits for a short moment, looks up to me, raises his hand and gives me the start signal. I feel a tingling moving up over my back to my neck. My heart stops for a second. I hesitate. I'm thinking about my daughter Lilly. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. If I don't jump now, maybe I'll jump never again. But, whatever. I'm a ski jumper, I love my sport and I have learnt to get up again after a setback. I will do everything I can to continue my career. Step by step. I breathe out, open my eyes and start. Because that's the way I am."
Thomas Morgenstern was a spectator at the World Cup final last weekend in Planica, also to be there for the final jump of his friend Martin Koch. The Carinthian wants to make a decision about whether he wll continue or not in the next weeks or months. True to this motto: "Fight with passion, win with pride, lose with respect, but never give up."