Historic gold medals during the World Championships in Lahti 2017

Johannes Rydzek, 26, entered the history books during the World Championships in Lahti, Finland. He won four gold medals in Nordic Combined, a feat that has never been done before. He also successfully defended his two gold medals from the Falun 2015 World Championships. Axelent decided to check Johannes’s pulse.

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You wrote history when you won four gold medals. Was that what you had in your sights? Did you dare to dream of this kind of success?

“No, I definitely didn't expect that. I knew I was in good enough shape to go for medals in all the heats, but so much can happen in our sport that it's impossible to plan or predict success.”

Which of your successes do you rate the highest? Or isn't it possible to put a value rating on your medals?

“Each medal and success carries its own story and therewith its own significance. My first World Championship title in Sweden in 2015 was naturally very special. Particularly as it was my first title together with Axelent.”

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What goes through your mind when you are about to jump?

“You're in the famous ‘tunnel’ at that moment, totally focused on that one thing. You execute the jump mentally and hope the conditions are perfect at the key moment.”

Are you allowed to break your jump on the slope or do you have to follow it through?

“No, you have to complete the run. Simply do your best. The only thing you know for certain is that you will be more or less successful.”

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You are successful in what is for many people a small sport. Where did you foster your interest in ski jumping and skiing?

“I grew up in Obersdorf in the German Allgäu region. They say that children there are born with silver skis on their feet. The Four Hills Tournament and the Nordic Skiing World Championships 1987 and 2005 put Nordic Sport on the map in my home district. As a child I began with ski jumping and cross country skiing. This combination has always fascinated me.”

Do you have a role model?

No, I don’t actually have a role model. Thomas Müller, Olympic World Champion and Team Event Champion in Nordic Combined, coached me in my youth. As a young sportsman you set your sights on goals and really want to achieve them.”

Do you get a lot of fan mail? Do you think of acting as a role model?

“Yes, my post box in Oberstdorf is usually quite full in the winter. Being a role model for somebody is not only a great honour for me but also a responsibility. No doubt one or another junior athlete dreams of succeeding like I have. I’m always happy when children turn to me and I can motivate them on their journey."

Axelent GmbH is sponsoring you and you seem to hit it off well. Are you that close with all your sponsors?

“As I mentioned before, we will always be connected through my first world championship title. Axelent is more than just a sponsor for me. They are a partner who I can put my trust in. Our partnership is maintained to the highest extent by Axelent. I’m very proud of having such a fantastic partner.”

What do you do with your time when you are not training or competing?

“I’ll be focusing on my studies when the winter season ends. I’m studying business science in Kempten. When I’m not studying I like to spend time in the countryside with my girlfriend or friends. Paragliding, mountain climbing, hiking, skiing, that sort of thing. The countryside gives me a lot.”

Will you have an education to fall back on when you finally hang up your skis? Or what are your future plans?

“After high school I began studying parallel with my sporting activities. I plan to remain an active athlete until 2021 or 2022, which gives me plenty of time to consider my future.”

5 quickies
with Johannes Rydzek

City or countryside?
Countr yside

Activity or relaxation?
Activity

Eat out or at home?
Home is simply best

Favourite place?
Allgäu

Hidden talent?
I’m a budding barista

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