This year’s Summer Grand Prix saw five different winners: Gruber, Todd Lodwick, USA (individual Gundersen in Sochi), Team France consisting of Jason Lamy Chappuis & Francois Braud (team sprint in Oberwiesenthal), Norway’s Magnus Moan (individual Gundersen in Val di Fiemme) and Johannes Rydzek, GER (both individual Gundersens in Oberstdorf).
In some case, the success even came without the athletes having been prepared for it. “This feeling is overwhelming. I am usually not strong in roller-skiing. I didn’t expect these kinds of results this summer. I tried to do my best so I am really surprised to be standing on the overall podium today,” Japan’s Akito Watabe said in amazement in Oberstdorf.
From scorching heat of 35 degrees centigrade in Sochi, to changing winds in Oberwiesenthal and Val di Fiemme and to a rainy, cold weekend in Oberstdorf, the organisation of all competitions was impeccable. Despite weather difficulties, the mood remained positive and athletes were happy to battle it out to measure their level of performance at this stage of the season.
The overall winner Gruber concluded: “Actually there wasn’t much that did not go well for me this summer, except perhaps the finish line sprints I lost. My performances in all four venues were at a really constant level. If I manage to bring this over to the winter, the upcoming season is definitely going to rock!”
Everyone who was following the Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix 2012 could not have agreed more.
For the tenth consecutive time, the FIS Nordic Combined Youth Grand Prix was held in Oberstdorf (GER), providing 74 young athletes from nine nations the opportunity to share the spotlight with their sport’s best athletes.
In the competitions from 1st-3rd September, consisting of Ski Jumping and Roller Skiing, Finland’s Wille Karhumaa triumphed in the U-13 age group while Slovenia’s Vid Vrhovnik claimed the top spot in the U-14 age group.
The prize giving ceremony was a special one for the youngsters as their trophies were awarded by the winners of the FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix 2012. This presented a great final to a wonderful weekend for the future of Nordic Combined.
Technical Delegate (TD) Sandra Spitz underlined: “This year, the number of participants is really high. The Organisers understood to the value of arranging the schedule of the Youth Grand Prix with the Summer Grand Prix, giving the young athletes the opportunity to witness what is going on at the highest level of their sport and take these experiences home. This is important for their development both training-wise and at a social level.”
Assistant TD Uwe Mühln added: “The little ones are very thirsty for information. They ask very specifically what we are doing, how we are doing it and why. These are the athletes who will be competing in the World Cup in ten years, so we try keep the sequences of operations around the competitions identical, to enable the young ones to learn.”
Next to the competition, the Organisers offered an additional programme including fitness tests, group activities and a coaches seminar.