Going into the Olympic winter of 2017/18, Nordic Combined had two of its superstars back. Next to Finnish legend Hannu Manninen, also French hero Jason Lamy Chappuis will be dedusting his skis again. In this latest TUESDAY TALK, he explains why and how he will come back.
You have won everything there is to win in Nordic Combined - why the comeback?
Jason Lamy Chappuis: I think there are a lot of things that made me come back. First, I missed Nordic Combined. We don't know how lucky we are when we compete. While working for Eurosport these last two years, I really wanted to be with my teammates! The timing is perfect as well, I just finished my flight school and I have 9 months before the next Olympics... I had to try again and I feel like I can still be competitive.
How did your past two years with the pilot training go and what are the next steps on the way to this profession?
Lamy Chappuis: These last two years were a lot of work but fun as well. I started with a year of theoretical training in Paris and then left for England do to the flying part on small multi engine airplanes. After 6 months, I passed the Commercial Pilot Licence test with an instrument rating. Now I have to have get a aircraft type rating when I get a job, it can last between 2 and 3 months.
What are you looking forward to most, coming back to Nordic Combined?
Lamy Chappuis: I’m looking forward to the thrill of competing in World Cups (especially in Chaux-Neuve) and at the Olympics again. And of course to be back in the Nordic Combined family and to see everyone.
How did you teammates react having you back for the first training camp now?
Lamy Chappuis: They were happy to have me on the team again. On the first training camp it felt like it was exactly the same as before. But they had a good laugh calling me the old guy when I told them I had sore muscles! (laughs)
How will your summer training look like and might we see you during Summer Grand Prix?
Lamy Chappuis: As usual we'll have a week at camp with the team and a week home. I will have to go step by step because I'm not used to hard training anymore. In July, we'll have the French championships in Chaux-Neuve, that will be a first test, then I will most probably be at the Summer Grand Prix.
Do you feel Nordic Combined has changed since you ended your career in 2015?
Lamy Chappuis: I don't think it has changed much, the teams an venues are almost the same. But it feels like the competition level is higher every year! Especially with the German team putting high standards last season.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
Lamy Chappuis: I know I have a lot of work to reach a competitive level. So I'll just give everything I can and we'll see. The main goal will be the Olympics in individual and on the team event. And with the team we have and we can achieve great things!
Last question: Did you expect to ever compete with Hannu Manninen again?
Lamy Chappuis: (laughs) No, I didn't expect to compete with Hannu again. I'm really looking forward to it! It will also be really interesting to talk with him because we have a lot in common!