Peter Prevc is an exceptional talent, an amazing ski jumper, a great - and always fair - athlete and a national hero in his home country Slovenia. After his outstanding 2015/16 winter season in which he won everything, experts were sure it would be the start of a long winning streak of the 26-year-old. But things turned out differently.
In winter 2015/16, Peter Prevc was jumping on a level that left the entire rest of the field in awe. At the end of the season, he won the overall World Cup title with a lead of more than 800 points over Severin Freund. During that season he claimed 15 wins.
He won the 4-Hills-Tournament with three individual wins, a Grand Slam would have also been possible.
He claimed the Ski Flying World Championship title on the Kulm-hill.
Peter Prevc won everything there was to win that winter - and he made it seem easy.
Then came the 2016/17 season opener in Ruka (FIN).
Peter Prevc started right where he left off. He had a clear lead after the first round of the winter's first competition, then he crashed in the final. Despite this fall, he finished third. The winner on that day: A 17-year-old named Domen Prevc. It was the first win of Peter's younger brother.
After this day in Ruka, Peter Prevc was not the same as he was just a winter earlier, the good shape was gone. The season continued for him with the places 7, 22, 30, 9, 26, 33. The results were far from what the experts and Prevc himself expected. Peter Prevc could win once during that World Cup season, in February 2017 in Sapporo (JPN).
Now the extremely likable athlete of the ski club Triglav Kranj is trying hard to get back to where he once was and fight for wins again. There's no doubt he has the potential to do so. Prevc now has to find the details again that are decisive when it comes to victory or defeat in Ski Jumping.
This summer, Prevc had to undergo two ankle surgeries. He is now training again but he will probably not be competing in the season opener in Wisla. We had the chance to speak to Peter Prevc.
FIS Ski Jumping: What was the reason why you could not participate in any competitions this summer?
Peter Prevc: "I sprained my ankle a couple of times over the past years, the body reacted to that and it resulted in a limited mobility of my ankle, but Ski Jumping requires a very mobile ankle joint. This made surgery necessary this spring and so I was not able to train or compete during this summer. Another problem was that I got an infection a few weeks after this first surgery and so I needed yet another one on July 17th."
FIS Ski Jumping: Do you think that this problem already affected your performances last winter?
Peter Prevc: "I can't really answer that. I don't think that it can serve as an excuse for my bad results last year."
FIS Ski Jumping: How is your situation now, are you able to train and is everything okay again?
Peter Prevc: "Yes, I can already jump again. So far I made about 60 jumps and I already jumped on the large hill again. It was interesting to be back on the hill after such a long break. It was really challenging."
FIS Ski Jumping: Will you be able to compete again soon? What are your plans for the upcoming months?
Peter Prevc: "My plan now is to jump as much as possible, right now we are on our way to Oberstdorf. Then I'll see where I stand compared to the others. I don't want to rush anything. My jumps have to get better and better and when I'm ready for it, I will start competing again in the World Cup or in other events. Right now I'm quite sure that I will skip the season opener in Wisla."
FIS Ski Jumping: Your current situation is very similar to the one of Severin Freund. He also said that he will not start competing again before he has the feeling that he can be in Top 10 or Top 15 again.
Peter Prevc: "Yes, that's very similar. Of course it's not my goal to just qualify for the second round and be among the best 30. My goals are still higher than that."