“I was only three years old when my parents put me on cross-country skis the first time; I didn’t really have a choice”, answers David Mach when being asked about the beginning of his Nordic Combined career and laughs. In mid-December the 20-year-old celebrated his best FIS Continental Cup result with a 3rd place in Park City/Utah. He won the silver medal with the Mixed Team at FIS Nordic Junior World Champions in Oberwiesenthal last season and the gold medal with the Men’s Team in Lahti 2019. His best World Cup result so far was a 27th place in Klingenthal 2019.
What most people don’t know, is that David has three younger brothers: Simon (18 years), Lucas (16 years) and Elias (13 years), who all do Nordic Combined. Their mother used to be a cross-country skier – so skiing runs in her sons’ blood.
David started with ski jumping when he was seven years old. He was watching Four Hills Tournament on TV together with his grandmother and was so impressed that he wanted to try it himself. One of his classmates, who was a ski jumper already, took him to training and David fell in love with flying. However, ski jumping was his weaker discipline in the beginning, which is why he didn’t want to wave goodbye to his cross-country skis either and simply started to combine both disciplines. “I couldn’t imagine being only a ski jumper. Cross-country skiing requires a lot of hard work and I really like that”.
Also Simon used to be cross-country skier in the first place, but “when David started with ski jumping, of course I had to try it, too”. David is a role model for all three of his younger family members. Especially Elias, the youngest one, really admires his big brother. But also the other two have only good things to say about him. “He is disciplined and ambitious – in and off sports”, so Simon and Lucas adds “he is the reason why I actually started with Nordic Combined and he really helps me a lot”. Other than by his own brother, Lucas is also impressed by Vinzenz Geiger and his strong cross-country performances.
The fact that David already competed in World Cup and spends a lot of time with the German A-team also helps his younger brothers. He shares his experiences and gives them advice. “Technical issues I rather leave to their coaches though”, says David. The brothers however, try to motivate and cheer each other up when things don’t go according to plan and share the excitement when one of them reaches a good result. “Simon was struggling with his performances for quite a while, until at Alpencup in Seefeld in December he celebrated his first podium. I’m extremely happy that he was finally able to show what he is capable of doing”, resumes David. And Lucas adds: “Even when I end up with a rather bad result and one of my brothers shows a great performance, I’m still happy somehow. That is very helpful.”
But it is not only David, who teaches his brothers, but also the other way around. “Lucas for example, doesn’t worry too much; he rather takes things easy. I would really like to be more like that”, admits the oldest one.
“Sharing is caring” is also the motto when it comes to equipment. “When we were younger and I got onto a new team, I always gave my old clothes to my brothers. However, Simon is taller than me now, so that doesn’t work anymore, but Lucas uses my skis and my suits.”
As all brothers and sisters also the Mach boys get into an argument every now and then, but “it is never so bad that we don’t want to see each other anymore. We mostly speak about it shortly afterwards and things are fine again”, tells Simon.
David, Simon, Lucas and Elias are four brothers; in a Nordic Combined team competition there are four spots. Wouldn’t it be obvious then that all four of them compete in a team together one day? David sees things realistic “In World Cup there’s a very high power density – so it’s quite unlikely that all four of us will get a spot. However, there are also team competitions in “Deutschlandpokal” (German Cup) every now and then, where a Mach-team definitely might be an option someday. Or maybe in a farewell competition when one of us ends his career”, he laughs.
For now, we can look forward with excitement how far all four of them will make it and if the Machs will be the next generation of brothers in Viessmann FIS Nordic Combined World Cup.