The French Ski Association has confirmed that Nordic Combined legend Jason Lamy Chappuis will return to Nordic Combined for the Olympic season 2017/18. Lamy Chappuis had put his athletic career on hold in favour of pursuing a commercial pilot education, which he finished successfully just last week.
Lamy Chappuis held a press conference in Paris to announce his return. While he has not set any sporting goals, he was clear on why he felt he wants to make a comeback: "I just finished my pilot training in England last week and decided I would like to resume my career as an athlete. My reflection about this began at the Rio Games where I was as a spectator and I felt this incredible atmosphere. I was vibrating with the French team and it really made me want to live this event as an athlete again. On top of that, I lived 6 months away from skiing during my pilot training in England, without seeing the snow or the mountain and I have really missed this."
The 30-year-old has won ten World Championship medals, five out of which are golden and crowned himself Olympic Champion in Vancouver. In addition, he won the overall World Cup three times in a row, a feat that was only surpassed by Hannu Manninen (4) and Eric Frenzel, who claimed his fifth crystal globe this year.
Lamy Chappuis continued: "It will be very difficult to come back, as I spent two years without ski jumping. But I am fit, I ran half marathons, I was registered at a gym center, I did not lose all my physical condition. There are many examples of athletes who have stopped their careers to come back. This pause allowed me to step back, to question myself and today I am more peaceful, and stronger in my head. I will not put myself under pressure, before I almost wanted to do too well."
As to how long he plans to extend his sporting career, Lamy Chappuis, who dreams of being a full-time pilot for Air France, had a clear answer as well: "For now, I come back for a full year, with the Olympics as the main objective. Then it may be time for me to find a real job."
The French superstar will take part in the first training camp with the team from the 10th to the 15th of May in Ardèche.