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Season Review Ski Jumping Men with Walter Hofer
Walter Hofer, FIS Ski Jumping Race Director, took a moment to look back at the past season for the Bauhaus FIS Ski Jumping World Cup presented by Viessmann.
Q: Walter Hofer, it was a great season, although it was very difficult.
Walter Hofer: Yes, it was difficult, but I have to say that I've often had less energy at the end of the season in Planica. We had problems with the weather conditions throughout the season, but we have simply great Organizers and the basic conditions also improved a lot, including the preparation of the facilities. So it was possible to carry out many competitions despite the difficult circumstances. In fact we only saw one cancellation, in Klingenthal.
We also greatly appreciate the broad variety at athletes on the podium. Despite the team strength of the Austrians, the top has become very tightly contested. Some ten nations have the potential to win a World Cup competition at present.
Q: It's remarkable, that with Anders Bardal the oldest overall World Cup winner ever was crowned. That proves that the field is very balanced between the young and the old.
Walter Hofer: Yes, this is what we wanted to achieve with our requirements: That the athletes reach their peak a little later, but that they are able to keep that level for a longer period of time. Even if we couldn't foresee that some will be jumping until they are 40. But of course it's great when you know that you can show top performances in this sport for a long time.
Q: Are there any changes you see coming to the rules?
Walter Hofer: The current ICR has shown to be well suited for flexible management of our competition formats. The transparency we are offering for the audiences both on site and in front of television should be our main future focus. That is where we need to strive for better graphical representation and flow of information to make it even easier to understand and follow the competition. We already have some ideas under discussion to improve this.
The equipment is being leveraged to the fullest extent by the athletes. They can take optimal advantage of the external conditions from an aerodynamic perspective. However the management of the equipment control is getting very time-consuming. We will have to look for ways for optimization here.
Q: What will you do after the season. Time to relax or will the work continue right away?
Walter Hofer: Now the tasks are different of course. I will give lectures at the university, and we will have some meetings with the industry, TV and our technicians and experts. We will also soon have our FIS Spring Meetings and there the new calendars must be finished already. Then we'll start all over again.
Contributed by Horst Nilgen