The perfect jump
Olympic champion Marius Lindvik is the man with the Norwegian winning gene.
In ski jumping, 2022 began as the year of Marius Lindvik: In February, the Norwegian became Olympic champion on the large hill. A month later he followed it up with another gold, winning the world championship title in ski flying in front of his home crowd in Vikersund. Now the just 24-year-old "golden boy" faces the 71st Four Hills Tournament. And of course he has big plans.
The high-flyer cools down
Things got a little quieter around Marius in the summer. On vacation in Mexico, he relaxed for a few days while snorkeling, just like he loves to do while playing "League of Legend" with his training partner Daniel André Tande. There was hardly any news of Marius on the social media channels, instead he concentrated on switching off and cooling down as the high-flyer of the year.
»Technique and fitness exercises are just as important as jumping on the hill.«
Marius, how do you look back on your "golden" season?
"It was an incredible experience and almost dreamlike success with jumps at a high level. The summer was great, I had time to hang out with friends and reflect on what had happened. But of course we also trained with lots of concentration and effort."
What does your training look like in the summer?
"It varies from week to week. We have one to two sessions a day, each one to three hours long, both outdoors and indoors in the gym or weight room.”
And what exactly do you work on?
"We try to fine-tune the technique and are at a weekly camp on the ramp several times. But the focus in the summer is primarily on physical condition. We work on our core muscles, lift weights, train our jumping strength with jump squats, or improve our flexibility with stretching exercises. Technique, fitness and "dry" exercises are just as important to us as jumping on the hill."
Season so far: a surprise package
At the World Cup opener in Wisla (Poland) Marius jumped directly onto the podium. On the large hill in Titisee-Neustadt he missed the final of the best 30 in both competitions, according to his own information he had a general problem with his flight position. In Engelberg, Switzerland, it went ahead with a 15th and 12th place ... but there is still plenty of air to the top.
»If you want to achieve great things, you have to give 110 percent.«
Is it sometimes hard to stay motivated after being so successful in the previous season?
"No, on the contrary: I want to confirm my successes and show that it was no coincidence. I am a ski jumper, that is a privilege and I want to give everything for that. If you want to achieve great things, you have to give 110 percent for it."
How do you get yourself up to 110 percent when you're at the top of the hill?
"I like to listen to electronic dance music, Martin Garrix is one of my favorites, to get the blood pumping. Before I put on my skis, I concentrate on deep breathing and take a moment to fully focus. Then I visualize once again the jump I'm about to make ... and I'm off."
What does a good jump feel like?
"The moment you take-off, you find your position right away. You feel the speed and the energy, it feels like you are getting thrown out in a slingshot. You know instantly that it's going to be a good one. The air works with you and lifts you up, it's really a fantastic feeling."
Have you ever had the sensation of a perfect jump?
"My second jump at the Beijing Olympics was one of my best. I always think about that jump when I look back. But honestly, there can't be a perfect jump, because there's always room for improvement. And that's exactly what I'm working on."
Norway, nation of winners
Maybe Marius Lindvik will succeed in the 71st Four Hills Tournament with a jump that could hardly be better? Then it could also be his first tournament victory, after the Norwegian finished second in both 2020 and 2022.
One question remains at the end: Why is tiny Norway, with its population of five million, such a giant in sports and, most recently, was by far the most successful of all nations at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing?
"It's hard to say," Marius says. "But I know that Norway invests a lot in knowledge around sports. We have exceptionally good coaches, excellent service people, and we put a lot of emphasis on getting the right information so we can work on ourselves in a super targeted way."