Although it's still two weeks until the start of the 4-Hills-Tournament, it's already a fact that more fans than ever before will attend the opening event in Oberstdorf.
Not least due to the great results of the German ski jumpers so far this winter, there are no tickets available anymore for the day of the competition (December 30), and the organizers also expect a record number of more than 15 000 fans for the qualification on the day before. "We never had more than 40 000 spectators on site. This will be an amazing opener", said Dr. Peter Kruijer, president of the local ski club.
The last time, that all tickets for a 4-Hills-Tournament competition in Germany were sold before the event, was at the time of the huge Ski Jumping boom, caused by the successes of Martin Schmitt and Sven Hannawald. But back then the stadium in Oberstdorf only had a capacity of 18 000 people, now it's 25 000.
Obviously, it would be a special highlight for the organizers, if a real local hero would be able to win the 4-Hills opener in the sold-out arena of Oberstdorf. "Of course it would be a huge success for us as a community if, for the first time in almost 60 years, an athlete, who actually lives in Oberstdorf, would be able to win here", said Peter Kruijer. The last local to win in Oberstdorf was Max Bolkart in the 1959/60 season.
This year Karl Geiger and also Richard Freitag could follow in the Bolkart's footsteps because the current overall World Cup leader moved to Oberstdorf just this summer.
Photo: Dominik Berchtold, OC Vierschanzentournee