What a summer so far for Czech athlete Tomas Portyk! TUESDAY TALK caught up with the 21-year-old and spoke about the first time on the top of the podium, Portyk’s difficult winter and how his tattoos relate to his sports performance.
First of all, congratulations to your first victory on the Nordic Combined top level together with teammate Miroslav Dvorak in the Team Sprint in Oberwiesenthal. We hope you were able to celebrate it a bit, once the competitions were over!
Tomas Portyk: Of course!! I was really proud that I had such good results in the Summer Grand Prix.
The Summer Grand Prix 2017 was a very good time for you with two 12th places and rank four and seven in the individuals. After you struggled a bit last winter, would you say your performance is going into the right direction again? What did you focus on to achieve this improvement?
Portyk: As you said, the last winter season was not really good for me and very challenging mentally. So after this season, I have started to work with a mental coach to work on handling this kind of pressure. So the situation now is very special to me and of course and I'm very satisfied.
You are currently ranked sixth in the overall standings, with some of the leading athletes not scheduled to come to Planica. Will we see you in Slovenia and do you have a goal in terms of end result in the overall Summer Grand Prix standings?
Portyk: Yes, I know that some athletes will not be on start in Planica. I would really like to do it but my coach is of a different opinion. Naturally, I trust in his planning and judgement, so he has the last word. Also, we have the Czech Championships at the same time. So I guess also for me, it will be difficult to compete in Planica.
The Czech team surprised many with you and Miroslav in great shape but also the youngsters Vytrval and Pazout delivering respectable results. What would you say are the reasons for this good team performance?
Portyk: That’s not so easy to say but maybe the team dynamics are helping with it. We are one big team. Everyone does everything at a 100%. Maybe we just found a good training system. But we'll see what it was worth in the winter season.
What are your goals for the Olympic winter of 2017/18?
Portyk: My goal can not be expressed that much in numbers and results. First and foremost, I need to jump well. That is my talent and the basis for my good results.
As I said, the past season was mentally very difficult for me, so I will try to find a good rhythm from the start. Just competing and having fun doing it. If I manage this and stay relaxed then the good results will come back, especially on the jumping hill. I managed to do it well in the summer.´
We know you are very much into tattoos. What is the latest one you have gotten?
Portyk: You know, for me, every tattoo is a reward for a good result or a good step that I have taken. Somewhere along the road, it became a hobby (laughs). The last tattoo I have gotten are the Olympic rings with the Czech flag, obviously that’s for this season. And after the Summer Grand Prix, I have gotten a tattoo of Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa. You know, heart of a champion. (laughs).