Adam Malysz from Poland is one of the most successful sportsmen in the history of ski jumping. He won six medals alone during World Championships, becoming even World Champion twice in 2013. After finishing his active career, he became a rally driver. For several years now he is head of sports and co-ordinator in the Polish Ski Federation. Just before the first decisions in ski-jumping take place in these World Championships, the 41-years old talked to us about his tasks in the Polish team, reviewed his successes and told us to be aware of the Austrian team at Bergisel.
What a feeling do you have: being an official instead of being an active athlete at the current World Championships?
I was already an official during the Lahti Championships in 2017. It is nothing new for me, but it’s always great to be part of a big sports event. I am not an active athlete anymore but I like my position as support and will always love ski jumping. I am incredibly proud of every team success.”
What are your tasks as director of sports and co-ordinator?
I am in charge of the special ski-jumping as well as the Nordic Combined in the Polish Ski Federation, that means altogether for three groups: Ladies and Men Ski Jumping as well as Men Nordic Combined. There is always lots to do: When we arrived in Austria I had a lot of organizational tasks. I had to take care of the accreditation and the parking permits, getting the radio connection started etc.
During World Championships, you were often present on the pedestal. Are there some special memories you behold?
World Championships are something very special and these memories stay with you forever. I never won an Olympic medal but won several at various World Championships. The Bergisel jumping hill is one of my favourites. I can feel the memories much more intensely here and I am happy to be back here.
The Bergisel jumping hill is technically very demanding. Who are your favourites?
There are several medal candidates. Certainly, Ryoyu Kobayashi is one of them as he also leads in the World Cup. Our team is very strong as well, especially Kamil Stoch, Piotr Żyła und Dawid Kubacki. The German Markus Eisenbichler is also jumping on a very high level although he sometimes commits some errors. And of course you have to take into account the Austrians. Stefan Kraft is one of the favourites for the gold medal. He knows the jumping hill very well and can be certain of the Austrian fans’ support.
Only four other jumpers managed to become World Champion twice. How do you feel being part of this illustrious circle?
It’s a wonderful feeling that keeps going on for a long time! It’s not easy to achieve something like that. You really have to be in top form. It isn’t enough to jump well, the conditions must be right, you must have slept well etc… Only if everything is right you can perform exceptionally. The feeling that everything runs smoothly is giving you another bout of energy.
Stefan Kraft said after his successful season 2016/27 that he is very proud to be part of the same circle as his big idol Adam Malysz now. Are you used to comparisons like that?
It is always wonderful to hear such words and I am very proud of it. It is great that so many jumpers who have seen me as a role model are winning medals and have become idols themselves.