Walter Hofer: “I can’t imagine any other place than Planica for the final event”

Author: Eva Majdic, Published:

Not only the spectators, ski jumpers and coaches were excited about the last event of the season in Planica but also the first man of ski jumping, Walter Hofer. Walter can not imagine having the season final at any other place than Planica. He told to the Slovenian newspaper, Delo, about the last Olympic Games and also added that he has already turned towards the next ones.

Hofer was more than happy to successfully conclude another season. About Planica he told: “I can say only one thing. This is a real festival, not only from a sports perspective, but also from the point of view of the atmosphere, the enthusiasm of every single fan here. Every nation had their fans, even 50 people from America came just for this event. Our family is getting bigger and bigger and it is really nice to see people who keep coming back.”

On the question about for how much longer Planica is guaranteed to hold the season final, having many rumors about Norway wanting to host the final, he replied: “First of all, I have not heard anything about that before. Second of all, as far as I see the future, I do not see any other option than Planica. It’s not just a sport event, there is a lot more to it. Here are our roots, this is our legacy, it would not be easy to let this go.

Evening competition at the Olympic Games in Beijing

Hofer is proud about the fact that ski jumping became a safer sport and that there are more and more jumpers who can be among the bests. These things make ski jumping even more interesting. He also talked about his wishes for the next period: “Our competitions are only hosted in 10 countries. We would really like to expand and make the range of host countries wider. To get started with, we would like to return to the USA and Canada. In the next two years we will organize competitions in the United States, in Minnesota. There are also quite a few projects going on building new venues, one of which will be in Beijing.

Hofer is looking forward to the next Olympic Games in China, 2022. At the last Olympic Games in Pyongyang ski jumpers got more attention due to the conditions in which they had to compete. The competitions were very late, there was not many spectators; the weather was really cold, it seemed a bit like orgsnizers did not take good care for ski jumpers.

“I am completely satisfied with the organization and everything else that the organizers has prepared. As far as the late start of the competitions is concerned, I must say that I am not the one who is guilty”, he acknowledges, but he is proud, because he was thrilled about this: “Just look at the television ratings and everything will be clear to you.” He hopes that competitions in Beijing will take place with the same schedule with the start at 21.30 local time.

Together with women

New cycle will bring some changes which they will present shortly; there is a lot to talk about like raising body mass index, as more ski jumpers are unhealthy, and even anorexia is often mentioned. “We hsve started dealing with these issues together with  the competitors and coaches and we have some suggestions that will be presented in the near future. We are considering body mass index to be raised, but this topic will be officially presented in about a week”, said Hofer.

He is excited about the fact that they whole family will be together more often since in the future man and women will perform more often on the same venues, which means that women ski jumping is moving to some bigger hills.

“Ladies World Cup has advanced a lot over the years. They already experienced  two Olympic Games, five World Championships; all of this was happening on small hills, now we might see the mixed teams even at the next Olympic Games in Beijing and we are ready to take the next steps. Women will compete on larger hills more and more often and that way we will have the total television production, common database, less official stuff, which will reduce the organizational costs” Hofer told in the end. It all starts this summer with ladies and men competing at the same venues at the Summer Grand Prix.