The comeback of ski jumper Anders Jacobsen kept rolling this week when he wound up on the winners’ platform at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Italy, after securing a bronze medal in the men’s individual jumping competition on the largest hill. He credited some volleyball for his performance, which some commentators called “incredible.”
Jacobsen told news bureau NTB that he had a bit of a revelation while playing a game of volleyball earlier in the week. “I decided to go back to the simple things there, not to ‘smash’ but just to play calmly and smart,” he told NTB. “I took that with me for my technical training on the hill.”
Something worked, because Jacobsen won an individual medal in tough world championship competition despite taking last season off. His comeback really took hold during the prestigious Four Hills Tournament just after Christmas, when he beat out some of the sports’ stars. Thursday’s bronze-medal performance at the world championships in Predazzo, Val di Fiemme, seemed to mean even more.
“I’m proud and satisfied,” Jacobsen said. “I have a world championship bronze from before (at Liberec in 2009) and this is a comeback season.”
He also feels the level of competition at the world championships is much tougher, adding that his two victories in Four Hills Tournament and his third-place win on Thursday “are two completely different things.”
Alex Stöckl, coach of the men’s ski jumpers, and Clas Brede Bråthen, chief of the national Nordic team, were delighted with Jacobsen’s performance, calling it “sparkling” and an impressive return after a year off that included a stint on a television “Shall we dance?” program. “There aren’t many people who are on ‘Shall we dance’ a year before winning a medal in the world championships,” Bråthen told NTB.
Jacobsen immediately looked forward to Saturday’s team competition back on the 134-meter hill where he was to jump along with teammates Anders Bardal (who won gold on the smaller hill last weekend), Tom Hilde and Andreas Stjernen. “But the biggest goal will the Olympics in Sotsji next winter,” Jacobsen said.
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
Please support our news service. Readers in Norway can use our donor account. Our international readers can click on our “Donate” button: