They tied Ma³ysz to the door handle, then to the radiator. “I asked Hofer to re-examine”

On the occasion of the 21st anniversary of Adam Małysz’s breakthrough on world ski jumps, we recall the text of Łukasz Jachimiak from a year ago.

This winter it will be 21 years since the first Polish victory in the 4-Hills-Tournament. And 21 years from the first gold medal of the championship event for the Polish jumper (World Championships Lahti 2001). And still 21 years from the triumph of the first Pole in the general classification of the World Cup. And the road to all these first times began exactly 21 years ago in Kuopio. On November 24, 2000, Adam Małysz woke up by 1.7 cm higher than a day before. How and why has it grown?

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“I asked Walter Hofer to retest”

On Thursday, November 23, Małysz won the qualification for the Friday’s inauguration of the season. He jumped the farthest (120 m), he was the best, but was not admitted to the competition. The later dominator was disqualified for too long skis.

– The day before the competition, all jumpers were measured. We lived in Kuopio on a hill, our hotel was next to the inrun. We went for this study on the legs: 500 stairs down, and then another kilometer – says the president, then the trainer Tajner. – It turned out that Adam was 168.3 cm tall. If it was 168.5 cm, it would be rounded to 169 cm and it could jump on skis 247 cm long – says Tajner.

Skis could have a maximum length of 146 percent. the height of the jumper. So a 169 cm competitor could have skis exactly 246.74 cm long. The FIS – as Tajner reports – rounded up to the full number, i.e. in this case up to 247 cm.

– We interpreted the table prepared by the FIS in such a way that we cut Adam’s back of the ski by a centimeter with an iron ball. And after qualifying, we were told that it took two – to 245, not 246 centimeters. We thought it was a mistake, so I asked Walter Hofer to re-test – says Tajner.

Where could the discrepancies come from? With a height of 168.3 cm Mały, the length of his skis could be a maximum of 245.72 cm. Then the FIS should round to 246 cm. Probably the size of Adam’s skis was 245 cm, because his 168.3 cm height was rounded down to 168 cm. And with such an increase, the maximum length of the skis is 245.28 cm. And then we round down again and we have 245 cm.

“I carried it on my back and hung it on the bar”

Hofer, the then director of the World Cup, agreed to measure Małysz again. It took place on November 24 in the morning, a few hours before the first competition of the season. – In the evening we started stretching Adam. We tied him to the door handle, then to the radiator. We grabbed his hands and pulled. By the legs and we pulled. The physiotherapist was stretching the intervertebral spaces. After all, we put Adam to sleep – recalls Tajner.

Before the second measurement, our team took care of every detail that could help extend Małysz. “Adam cleaned up this morning, I called a cab and took it to her on my back. Not only that, when we got to the hotel, I took it from the car on my back and so we entered the hall, where, of course, everyone was looking at us strangely – says Tajner. – Then I took Adam downstairs, to the room where the measurements were taken. There was a bar next to the stairs and I hung Adam on that stick. He hung for as many minutes as he could stand. When he couldn’t cope anymore, he sat down on the stairs and waited – recalls Małysz’s coach at the time.

Doleżal MichalMichal Doleżal assessed the performance of Poles in Niżny Tagil. “It’s hard to explain”

“They looked at Adam’s hair, told him to take off his socks”

The effect of all these treatments was amazing. – On the examination, Adam was 170 cm tall. That is 1.7 cm more than the day before – says Tajner. – After this measurement, they examined it in all directions, looking for the cause. First, they examined Adam’s hair, checked whether he had picked it up, using a gel. Later they told him to take off his socks and they checked to see if he had put something in them. In the end, they had to recognize that he grew up – smiles Tajner.

In view of the new result, the Polish team applied for the winner to be admitted to the competition. Hofer disagreed. He didn’t let Adam take off until the next day [w drużynówce], no longer having to shorten the skis. It turned out that we unnecessarily cut the skis even by this centimeter – sums up Tajner.

After the first weekend of the 2000/2001 season, the second weekend was also played in Kuopio, because there were huge snow problems all over Europe. For this reason, after four competitions in Finland, the competitions in Ramsau, Liberec and Engelberg were canceled. The World Cup had a break until the 4-Hills-Tournament on December 3rd – 28th. And in the Tournament we have already watched the explosion of Małysz’s form.

About David Martin

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

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