Olympic Champion, World Champions, World Cup Winners. Athletes of the Polish teams had quite some success in earlier World Cup seasons. There has always been one athlete who won, who kept Poland on a competitive basis.
When Stefan Horngacher was announced as new national coach in March 2016 the history of Polish ski jumping should change. While Adam Malysz and Kamil Stoch fought for the individual victories in the past, there was now a team in which individual athletes were stepping up on the podium. In the season 2016/17, the whole team wrote history when they won the first team competition ever for Poland in the World Cup in Klingenthal (GER) 2016. The victory of the Four Hills Tournament and the second place went to Poland as well. During the World Championships in Lahti (FIN) Piotr Zyla won the bronze medal from the large hill and Poland became the favourite for the team competition which they justified with winning the gold medal as team, becoming the Team World Champion 2017.
An important part of this team is 27-years-old Dawid Kubacki who was starting at all team competitions for Poland and who was able to achieve good results in the recent season. With the start of the Summer Grand Prix 2017, the friendly Pole showed that he is in an outstanding form and that there is no way around him when it comes to the success of the Polish team. Kubacki won three competitions in the ongoing summer season which are all competitions where he took part in. He is the leader of the Summer Grand Prix ranking and currently the best Polish athlete.
We talked to Dawid about his current form, the upcoming season and the Polish fans.
Newsskijumping: First of all, congratulations on your victories! You won all three competitions you took part in this summer. Did you know before that your shape is that good?
Dawid Kubacki: Thank you! (smiles) After the first camps, I knew that my jumps are on a really good level, but I didn’t expect that I will be winning. I still have some things to work on before winter, but I’m really happy that I can fight for the best results and it gives me a lot of confidence before winter.
NSJ: Your teammates have pretty good results in the Summer Grand Prix and Continental Cup as well. What’s the secret of your team’s success?
DK: The most important secret is hard work (smiles). We started preparations for next season a week after Planica. In every sport hard work is 90% of success, so we are continuing it.
NSJ: We realised you stopped drifting to the right most of the time during your jump. Did you work on this precisely and how does it affect your jump?
DK: Yes, it’s one of the things I’m working on to improve. Still, I didn’t land in the middle of the hill, but I see a lot of improvements in this element.
NSJ: Next season there are a lot of highlights like the Olympic Games, 4HT, Raw Air and the Ski Flying Championships. What is your opinion about such a tight schedule and how do you handle the travel strain?
DK: The upcoming season will be really hard, so we need to be prepared really good to keep a high level during all this time. It won’t be easy, but it’s part of our job and I think it will be important to have a good system for regeneration between the competitions.
NSJ: Do you have any ritual before the competitions?
DK: No, just normal warm-up, imitations and concentration on what I have to do.
NSJ: What are your goals for the upcoming season?
DK: My personal goal is to keep working and jump on 100% in every competition. I believe that’s most important to be on top.
NSJ: No matter where you go to competitions, there are always a lot of Polish fans around to support you and your team. How does this feel for you?
DK: It’s really great to have that support from fans around the world. Sometimes I’m really impressed that at competitions abroad most flags are Polish flags. This support is really important.
NSJ: Thank you for taking time to answer our questions and good luck for the upcoming season!
The Summer Grand Prix will continue in Chaykovsky (RUS) on 9th/10th September with two competitions. Kubacki won’t participate because he will focus on training instead.