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“We have to work harder and put all effort into getting more attention”

Sep 27, 2022·Nordic Combined
(c) Nordic Focus

Double-World Champion and Overall World Cup second Johannes Lamparter took the time to answer Fondo Italias questions in this latest Tuesday Talk edition.  
The 20-year-old Austrian is one of the most successful Nordic Combined athletes and this after only his second full World Cup season.

You are one of the youngest and yet most successful athletes of last winter, almost receiving the crystal globe for the first time. Where lies your strength sports wise?

In the Nordic Combined system, you need to be a good Ski Jumper but also need to be fast on the cross-country track if you want to be a top athlete. 
I think, I can do both quite good, so I could also be successful during those last seasons. 
The two diciplines are so different, that it’s not easy to be at the best level in both of them at the same time. But I have always been an athlete, who trained a little bit more than what my coach recommended. This can be good in skiing, but not so good in Ski Jumping. Still, I have gained a lot of confidence in myself from those positive seasons and am really motivated.

Ski Jumping World Champion Andreas Felder had a great influence on your career. Can you tell us about your early years in Nordic Combined?

At 8 years old, together with my cousin, I was involved in a lot of events in Ski Jumping, but one day we decided to give Nordic Combined a shot. Andreas Felder, our Ski Jumping coach, told us to try also cross-country skiing and since that day I was a Nordic Combined athlete. 
The early years weren’t easy, but with entering Stams as a student and participating in my first Junior World Ski Championships 2018, things got a lot better quickly. 
My last five seasons were very successful and I hope to continue on this positive path.

You have been collaborating with your personal coach Patrick Murnig for four years now. Tell us more about him and his style of coaching.

He has been a steady point for me, especially in young age, because it is not easy doing training and preparing all equipment alone. He is the first person I call when something goes wrong, if I have questions or doubts, because he is always there to give me the right answer as well as confidence and support during training and competitions. He is like a second dad to me.

What improvement did you focus on this summer?

I am putting my effort in the cross-country technique, doing many sessions with video support. Alongside this, I am also trying new Ski Jumping equipment and working on getting more power in the inrun.

Tell us about your first Olympic experience. What happened during the three Nordic Combined races in Beijing?

There was a lot of stress during those days, mainly because of the Covid-19 situation we had even before traveling to Beijing. Also, the Olympic village was different from what we are used to. We were alone in our room, there was no TV or Netflix to watch, we couldn’t train outside due to the low temperatures so all together, life was a bit boring. 
Both the hills and the tracks were completely new for us and that amplified the challenge there. But overall, it has been a nice experience and the food was pretty good. Going home, I was a bit sad about my results, but I have to say that I will definitely remember this experience.

Have you already set your goals for next season? And where do you think to reach your peak of shape?

Of course, I hope to be in my best shape in Planica (FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, editor’s note), because I’ve got a title from the big hill to defend. My goal is also to win a medal in each individual event there. Another goal for me is the Seefeld TRIPLE, since it is a very important home World Cup for me, where all my friends and family will be on site.

Is there something you would like to change in Nordic Combined in general?

I would like to have more Team Sprints in our calendar. Usually, we only have one or two during the season, but I think it is one the most interesting competition formats in Nordic Combined. Also, more Mixed Team events would be interesting.

About what has been exposed by IOC, regarding a possible exclusion of Nordic Combined from the Olympic program, do you feel like a species in extinction?

We are definitely not happy about the decision they made for the girls regarding the Games in 2026. But most of them are still young and have time to develop, so I hope they will make the right decision for all of us in future. 
We, as athletes, and everyone who’s involved in Nordic Combined, have to work harder and put all our effort into getting more attention on Nordic Combined, to make it more interesting for media and sponsors. 
It is not easy, but I hope that 2026 will not be the last Olympic Winter Games for our discipline. I am a bit scared, but I want to stay positive. 
Of course, it is sad that the women are not included yet and 2030 is far away, but we have a lot of World Cups, World Championships and Junior World Championships scheduled and all that will improve our sport even more.

Interview: Fondo Italia / Paolo Romano
Original article: Fondo Italia

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