Ski jumping. “He was totally unprepared”

One of the tasks of Thomas Thurnbichler and his staff is to quickly find the reasons for the failure of the 2021/22 season of the Polish jumpers. At the end of April, Dawid Kubacki, who was the only representative of our country to return from the Olympics with a medal, again drew attention to unclear equipment problems. The confusion was due to the actions of Mika Jukkara, who made his debut last winter as a senior equipment controller on behalf of the International Ski Federation (FIS). Indications are that the 58-year-old Finn will remain in this position for another year.

Sepp Gratzer and Mika JukkaraSepp Gratzer and Mika Jukkara

photo of Tadeusz Mieczyński

Dawid Kubacki recently guested with Kuba Wojewódzki. The bronze medalist of the XXIV Winter Olympics on TVN had to deal with, among other things, questions about the unsuccessful season, which ended with the Polish Ski Association’s farewell to Michal Doležal and his assistants.

Watch also: Michal Doležal leaves the Polish national team!

– The explanation is very simple. Everyone made mistakes when talking about technical things. As competitors, we are responsible for doing so. At the start of the season, the suits didn’t quite match what the controller had envisioned. And this cup did not please, and that something … – diagnoses and remembers the 32-year-old player.

The world champion from Seefeld made it into the top 10 of the World Cup three times and finished the whole season in 27th place with 231 points.

– At each competition, we had to change the cut of the suit, then it fits differently on the body. This has an influence on the assumption of the acceleration position. We trained all summer in the same suit. We had a technique, everything worked well, and it was a turning point. Suddenly, the technique began to mix with the combinations, and when the combinations were good, the technique had to be rebuilt – added Kubacki in an interview with Wojewódzki.

Mika Jukkara’s cooperation with the Polish national team has not been going well since the first weeks of the four-year season. The bone of contention was the combination prepared by Kamil Stoch’s staff and the company. The dispute escalated during the pre-Olympic competition in Willingen, where the Finnish controller banned the use of shoes that the Poles had prepared for the Olympics. In Germany, all White-Reds were initially to be punished, but ultimately only Piotr Żyła and Stefan Hula were disqualified.

It wasn’t just loud in the community about Polish ankle boots. The flat skis of the Slovenians and the suits of the Germans were also controversial.

– In the previous season, it was completely out of control. Jukkara started working very motivated. At the beginning of the season, the suits were indeed tighter, but then he did not have enough experience to master the situation during the most important competitions. He was an outsider, without specific material knowledge. Of course, for a few years he will gain experience, but in my opinion he should do it systematically through lower-ranked competitions, like the FIS Cup and the Continental Cup – shared Thomas Thurnbichler, who was the assistant to Andreas Widhoelzl in the Austrian ranks before taking over the Polish team.

Also read: “You can never stop developing” – Thomas Thurnbichler started working in Poland

– I heard that supposedly Mika Jukkara should remain in his post. This will shock everyone a bit. Unless he learns a little about what it should all be like. This guy was completely unprepared for what was happening – adds Adam Małysz in an interview with Skijumping.pl.

In an interview with our service in December, Jukkara stressed that he cares about good communication with the teams participating in the World Cup.

– I am always open to talk to players or coaching staff. I think I get on well with the teams – he judged at the jumpers competition in Engelberg, just before the 70th 4 Hills Tournament.

Also read: For whom is the punishment? Mika Jukkara on the fight against illegal equipment

Małysz – asked by us about Jukkara’s actions during the winter – suggests unfair communication.

– If he knew the rules and was firm, then it would be different. He was kinder to some, more decisive to others, and it was all blurry – claims the four-time crystal ball winner.

This spring, Sandro Pertile, Director of the Men’s Jumping World Cup, spoke clearly about Jukkara’s future in an interview with Skijumping.pl this spring.

– Mika did an amazing job in his first season. Some issues were not fully under his control, but we are confident that this year’s experience will be a solid basis for the future, said the Italian.

– We knew from the start of the season that this would be one of the biggest challenges. Sepp Gratzer has been part of our system for almost 30 years. He had a lot of experience. On the occasion of such a change, the risk is high. You can’t learn everything in a few hours, weeks or months. It takes time, added Pertile.

To read also: Equipment under the magnifying glass of the FIS. “Mika did an amazing job”

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