nordic by nature.
Olympic and world champion Eric Frenzel
Just 28 years old, Eric Frenzel has achieved greatness in his sport. Nordic Combined World Champion in 2011 and 2013. Overall World Cup winner, five times in a row, from 2013 to 2017, which no one has yet succeded. Olympic Gold at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
His desire for success continues. “I will keep getting better,” says the athlete from Saxony, Germany. “This ambition comes from inside. It’s simply there. I can control it, and use it, as I already enjoy doing, and turn it into victory.” Nordic Combined athletes train all year round. Because winter winners are made in summer.
Double the motivation
“Combined athletes are always a work in progress,” says Eric Frenzel. “Especially in ski jumping. When you delve deeply into the detail, you always discover new potential; at lift-off, during the flight phase or when landing. When you add the cross-country skiing sessions, our training is exceptionally varied. It is easy to constantly inspire and motivate yourself.”
Training is divided into blocks of cross-country skiing and ski jumping. “If I did my endurance training in the morning, I wouldn’t be able to jump well in the afternoon,” reveals the Olympic Champion. “We usually begin the week with strength and jump training. This is followed by intensive endurance blocks. After a half, or full, rest day, the next ski jumping block begins.”
Pushing the limits
Because the jump off the hill tests an athlete’s mental ability, Eric Frenzel relishes the opportunity to power through the cross-country skiing section. “I like to turn up the gas. This works particularly well when you go to your physical limit. And is exactly what makes cross-country skiing so appealing. You reach your limit, then push for more.”
“As an elite athlete you need to learn not to accept your limits. Because they can always be pushed further. Sometimes you feel your body is already at its limit,” explains the World Champion. “But, then your head enters the game, and says, ‘There’s more’ and, suddenly, you grow beyond yourself.” Eric Frenzel often experiences moments like this when he is not in the lead.
Safety on track
“Protection gives me freedom,” says Eric. “If I couldn’t fully trust both my helmet or goggles, I wouldn’t be able to compete.” In an uncontrolled fall, the head is more likely to hit the ground. “For ski jumpers like us it is important that a helmet is extremely light. But, if something goes wrong, it must be there for us, to absorb enormous forces.”
If something goes wrong,
your helmet must be there for you.
On the ski jump Eric Frenzel wears uvex downhill 2000 goggles, which not only provide him with an excellent field of view, they also protect him from flying debris. “For cross-country skiing I wear uvex sportstyle 700,” Eric explains. “They protect me from other competitors’ ski poles, when a race gets tight. As well as being superlight they give excellent wind protection on downhill stretches.”
Ambition comes from inside.
For me, it is just there.
Eric Frenzel on the future of an athlete who has already achieved everything.
Eric, at 28 you already have a remarkable career. What have been your highlights?
I am very lucky that my career has always been in the ascendant. My efforts have been rewarded, year after year. So, I’ve always had something to celebrate. My very first World Cup win in my first year, my first world title in Oslo, the Gold Medal at the Games in Sochi. All are unforgettable memories. To experience these moments of emotion, is the reason I live this sport, and give it my all.
I live this sport for these emotional moments.
You are an Olympic Champion, 3 x World Champion and 4 x World Cup Winner. Do you ever want to relax on the couch?
There are days, especially during bad weather, when I’d rather stay at home and spend time with my children. Yet, training always takes priority. In endurance sport you always have goals, so you can improve, year on year. It’s about never standing still. Always having new stimuli.
Do you still want to be at the top, even after all your success?
Sometimes you ask yourself, ‘What do I want to achieve next?’ But, that’s what makes truly great athletes. They are not just one hit wonders, they are at peak fitness for important events. It’s the only way to secure a place in that sport’s history books.