Olympic Champion and defending Lahti 2017 World Champion Johannes Rydzek is much in demand. TUESDAY TALK caught him right after he unveiled the new Oberstdorf 2021 logo and asked some questions about his ambassador role, post-Olympic appointments, his training situation and the rest of his busy life.
Johannes, you just unveiled the FIS World Championship logo for the 2021 championships in Oberstdorf, together with fellow local heroes Katharina Althaus and Vinzenz Geiger. How did you enjoy the day?
Johannes Rydzek: It as a big honour to be chosen as an ambassador for the 2021 World Championships together with Vinzenz, Katharina, Tobi Angerer and Hanna Kolb. It is just about 1000 days until our home world championships now, it’s crazy how time flies.
Home World Championships are something really special but many athletes also say that the pressure is even higher if you’re competing for medals in your hometown. Do you think you’ll be extra nervous in 2021 as well, in spite of all of your World Championship successes and in the then experienced athlete age of 29 years?
Rydzek: Well, first of all I think it’s such a privilege to be able to experience a home World Championship. It is something really special. I’m sure much will be expected of me and I will have a lot of requests coming up. It will be important to find the right balance so I can focus on the competitions and actually enjoy the championships.
And yes, the successes I have already achieved cannot be taken from me and that helps to go into everything without pressure or stress, even starting from the 2018/19 winter now.
With the Summer Grand Prix 2018 approaching fast, your next home competitions are actually almost here. How do your plans for this summer look like, will fans be able to see you at all Summer Grand Prix stops?
Rydzek: The Summer Grand Prix in Oberstdorf ist such a great event. The atmosphere is amazing, the roller-ski track through the city centre is just fantastic and it’s so much fun every year. It’s really worth coming and watching our events! I will definitely be starting in Oberstdorf. I am not 100 % sure about the other venues at this stage.
How did your training season go so far? Are you satisfied with where you stand at the moment?
Rydzek: After the Olympic Games I had quite some entries in my calendar, like TV invitations, sponsor events and some really nice private tours. On top, I took all the final exams for my studies of industrial engineering and if I will pass them, which I certainly hope!, there is just my bachelor thesis left.
In spite of all that, I was able to do a big part of my training volumes, so that I am also on a good way sports-wise.
As you mentioned, as an Olympic winner, you are always in demand. Would you like to tell us more about your activities outside of sports since the season ended?
Rydzek: Yes, there were definitely quite some things going on. The most interesting experience was when I was invited to take part in the TV show “Kaum zu glauben”. Kai Pflaume is hosting it and the taping took place in Hamburg, a really amazing city.
Coming back to the sports side for one last question: the World Championships in Seefeld are the big highlight of the coming winter. Considering that you have some World Championship gold medals to defend and the overall World Cup win is still missing from your merit lists: if you had to chose one, which one would you pick?
Rydzek: I really don’t think much of these “what would you pick” questions. I want to show my best at the World Championships but I don’t have to prove anything to anyone anymore, so I can start completely without pressure. The overall World Cup victory is certainly still a goal in my career but I will not go and try and force it but simply give my best in every single competition. We will see what that is worth in the end.