Hofer talks about Polish fans. “That was crazy! Walter, what are you afraid of?”

This is the second season without Walter Hofer as director of the Ski Jumping World Cup. The Austrian performed this role for almost 30 years. This is one of the reasons why it is still recognized and remembered by Polish fans. Hofer himself is still impressed by the atmosphere that the white and red fans can create.

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“Walter, why are you afraid? We want to see Adam”

– Spectacle – I think this word reminds me the most of the competition in Zakopane today. There could be a snowstorm, it could rain, it could blow a lot or shine the sun, but regardless of the conditions the atmosphere under the hill was amazing – confirmed Walter Hofer in an interview with Przegląd Sportowy. And he added that he most remembered his fears in 2002, when 100,000 Małysz fans appeared at the hill.

Adam Małysz told Sven Hannawald about the problems of Polish jumpers.Hannawald revealed what Małysz had told him. This is the problem of Polish jumpers

– It was crazy. The fans were standing close to the inrun, at the threshold, near the bulwark. They were in dangerous places. Some climbed trees. We were afraid that someone, for example, would throw something at some player. In some places the fans in the back were pushing those in the front and I was looking at it in horror. You could see it on my face, because some people, seeing me nervously bustling around them, smiled and asked: “Walter, what are you afraid of? We just want to see Adam” – recalls the Austrian activist.

Małysz himself was often an inspiration for Walter Hofer to introduce new rules. For example during the 4-Hills-Tournament. When the KO system was introduced, the solution was first tested in a summer competition in Germany. – The initial plan assumed that only the winners of the duels, i.e. 25 players, would jump in the second series. But then luck would have it that Maysz was paired with Martin Schmitt. And he lost. We found that if such a situation could arise, something had to be slightly modified. This is how we thought that the five best jumpers, who turned out to be worse in their pair, would also qualify for the second round – said the former director of the World Cup.

Although the 66-year-old has difficult memories with the country on the Vistula River. They concern the “Eagle of the Vistula”. – Poles made me guilty when he did not win. Many times it happened that he was second or third, and I received a lot of messages, mainly by e-mail, from Polish fans. “It’s all you fault!” Walter Hofer said. He also added that he invited some people to competitions and showed what the organization of competitions looks like. And he stated that such education was effective, because information on this subject quickly spread among the fans.

Walter Hofer was shocked when he found out about the death of “Goldie”

Hofer also recalled the difficult times he experienced while serving as the head of the World Cup. This includes the moment he learned about the alleged death of Andreas Goldeberger. He heard these reports from his daughter. – I was shocked, I had to sit down. How is that? After all, a moment ago I saw Andreas happy on the podium of the competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I began to wonder what might have happened. And then another thought: “How is it possible that my daughter knows something that the activists I am asking about do not know?” Nobody knew anything about Andy’s death. I called home, my wife answered and she also began to say that “Goldi” is dead. But it quickly turned out that it was about our parrot, which was named after our daughter – the Austrian breathed a sigh of relief.

Kamil Stoch and Ewa Bilan-StochKamil Stoch’s wife did not like the “good news” for her husband. She explained the fan

The former director of the World Cup also referred to the poor season of Polish jumpers. He stated that there was no crisis in this sport discipline. – It often happens that a player is not in a bad shape, but there is no technical element playing, or that something bad is going on around him, e.g. in the team. I saw many outstanding jumpers who were on top, then they fell off it, they struggled on the hill for some time, but were able to come back. Honestly? I will not be surprised how Stoch, when he recovers, will stand on the podium in one of the upcoming competitions – said Hofer.

About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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