He might be ridin’ solo in the World Cup but Switzerland’s Tim Hug is doing it in an outstanding way. In the latest TUESDAY TALK, we caught up with the 29-year-old on his success season 2016/17, the cooperation with Team Norway and why he couldn’t even get a break for a holiday just yet.
With a 16th rank in the overall World Cup, you can look back on your best season to date. Compared to the seasons before, what were the aspects you did better in the past winter?
Tim Hug: I finally managed to have jumps on a high level consistently. In past year, I was often jumping very well in summer and not able to show it in winter. But I also improved in the cross-country track compared to last season. I wasn’t fully at the level of my best cross-country season but as I was injured last summer, I was quite pleased that it went as well as it did.
We have an Olympic season coming up. Do you think you will be able to continue your upward trend?
Hug: Yes, I definitely think even more is possible. I changed a few things in training in the past season. I think these were the right changes to make but due to my injury, I was not able to fully stick to the original training plan and still, the plan resulted in my best season to date.
I hope I can make it through the summer without any injuries and then, who knows. It’s the Olympics, everything is possible. After the very good dress rehearsal in the past season, I am definitely looking into the future with a lot of confidence and anticipation.
Without any Swiss teammate, you are still a solo fighter in the World Cup but you cooperated with the Norwegian team in the past season. How did this go and will this cooperation continue into the next season?
Hug: It was a great thing for me and went very well from day one. At the moment, we’re still in talks and I don’t really know how it will look like in the next season but as both parties were really satisfied with the cooperation, I am quite confident that we might even extend the partnership some more.
You are studying next to your athletic career. This probably meant you had to spend some hours catching up with this after the season, right?
Hug: Yes, that’s right! I had missed a couple of weeks of studies in the winter and so I had to put in quite some work after the season.
What else have you been up to since the season ended? Some holidays on schedule anytime soon?
Hug: Ah, not really. As I said, I had to catch up with a lot of uni work and the semester will continue until June. Also, the summer training has started again, so I really didn’t have any chance for holidays yet. I really hope I can steal some time for this in summer. I still enjoyed the past weeks as I was able to do anything I wanted sports-wise. I got some amazing ski tours in, for example.
The sport of Nordic Combined has evolved quite a bit with some more focus on the jumping part again and also of course the extreme domination of the German team. Where is the development headed in the future after your opinion and what kind of athlete do you have to be today to have success in Nordic Combined?
Hug: I don’t have the feeling that the sport has changed a lot but that the level of performance has gotten very tight. If you want to be among the top athletes, you have to be among the best on the jumping hill and also on the cross-country track. It’s not enough to only have one strong suit anymore.