Nordic Combined athletes from Latvia have been a fixture in different Youth Cups in the past few years. Still, the way to the top competition level is a difficult one for athletes who do not have a jumping hill in their home country and need to travel to neighbouring country Estonia or even further for training sessions. High time to cast a little more light on team member Elizabete Stankevica and her way to Ladies’ Nordic Combined.
Elizabete, Latvia does not have many active Nordic Combined athletes? How did you get involved in the sport and what do you like most about it?
Elizabete Stankevica: In Latvia, we are not many Nordic Combined athletes because we don’t have any jumping hills where to train in our country. For me personally, one of my good friends wanted me to come with her to cross-country skiing training led by coach Agris Kumelins from Sigulda. When I realised that he is also a ski jumping trainer I wanted to try this amazing sport as well. In the ski jumping part, I like the training process on hill the most.
What are your goals in Nordic Combined in general and for the upcoming season in particular?
Stankevica: I want to do the best I can. It would be amazing if I would be able to start in Junior World Championships ion Finland.
Which venue do you like to compete at most?
Stankevica: I like to compete in Szczyrk in Poland, maybe that’s because I had good jumps there.
The Nordic Combined ladies will have many chances to compete in the upcoming season: in Oberwiesenthal, there will be a first-ever Summer Grand Prix in August and a big COC calendar with the first international title event at the Junior World Championships in Finland are coming up. How do you feel about these developments?
Stankevica: It will be a really challenging season for me. I want to do my best and more.
Who are your role models?
Stankevica: I do not have that one athlete who inspires me. I respect and get inspiration from everyone who loves and does this sport.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Stankevica: I like to do a lot of things like playing piano, cooking and I also like running and riding a longboard with my friend all over town.