This article is especially for you ski jumping family! Hope you like it. If you want you can leave some comments here or at Twitter.
I've decided to write the review of this season in ski jumping. Why? Because ski jumping is the most favourite winter sport of mine. And because I really enjoyed this season a lot. The season 2015/2016 was amazing and I just have to write something about it. It was amazing also thanks to you, ski jumping family. It was great to share the passion for ski jumping with somebody.
I was thinking about how to order this article to make it sense. So I think the best solution is to divide it into parts according to the teams, which means countries.
And I start with the Czech republic. Our skijumpers weren't bad but it also wasn't perfect. The best one from our team was Roman Koudelka again. But his results were like on the rollercoaster. In some competition he was in top 10, in the next competition he maybe even didn't get to best 30 who take points. But I have to mention his victory in Wisla. It was a night competition. After the first round I thought that maybe he could get a podium finish but he even won there! It was really an amazing competition. In the final World Cup standing he finished 11th, close to top 10. It's great result but on the other side it's also a bit shame that he didn't get it to top 10. Because it means that at least at the beginning of next season he will have to jump in the qualification.
I would like to praise Tomáš Vančura. He did take part only in a few World cup competitions, took just 3 points but he is the talent of the future! During the season he mainly jumped in the Continental Cup and he was quite successful there. He was on the podium twice (he won one competition), a few times he was close to the podium result. He was 7th in the Continental Cup overall standing. I also would like to mention our other young talents who where mainly competing in the Continental Cup. They are Vojtěch Štursa and Viktor Polášek. You should watch these guys!
Continue with my beloved Finland. Unfortunately Finns are still in the crisis. You can't imagine how much it hurts me. If any of the Finns qualified to the competition I was celebrating it. And that's sad. I would like to see them where they belong. It means in the front or at least in top 15. But there were a few nice results. Lauri Asikainen was 7th at Lillehammer. In that moment I really started to believe that they are improving. But not. Lauri's form went from bad to worse. But still he was the best Finn in the overall World Cup standing. He had 42 points and was at 48th place. Do you understand it? The best Finn was only 48th. I just wanted to say that Ville Larinto had quite good second half of the season but I've just looked at the results. And now to me it seems even worse than it was in the season.
Ville took 14 points. All in just one competition. That's really big crisis. Janne Ahonen tried to come back to some competitions but he was stopped due to illness. I don't know what's going on with Jarkko Määttä. For me he always has been the biggest young talent in Finland. But these days he also hasn't been in the best shape. And where did Olli Muotka disappear?
Since next season Finns will have a new head coach. For the first time in their history their coach will not be from Finland. He will be from Austria. And I guess it will be very hard role for him. I don't know what he is able to do with their situation. It is really long track run.
I was sad from Finns but at least my other favourite country made me happy. Norway. Boys were amazing! These young guns really amazed me during the season. Johann Andre Forgang, Daniel Andre Tande, Joachim Hauer, they are really good. But for me the hero of the season is Kenneth Gangnes. I was writing about him already in a few of my czech articles but I will write it again for you. He became one of my big favourites back in 2008 (and shortly I started to write a fan fiction about him). For me he was the big norwegian talent. For me he was the one who, one day, will replace Bjoern Einar Romoeren as my ski jumping idol. But Kenneth had some knee injuries. He was fighting with it for a long time. I already started to worry that he would have to end his career. And I was really sad from it. But he was coming back slowly. He appeared in Continental Cup for a few times, also in the Summer Grand Prix. But this year he's stormed to the World Cup. I think that even he didn't expect these great results. He was the best norwegian. I am very proud of him.
Another country, whose skijumpers I like a lot, is Slovenia. Last year (= season 2014/2015) I was very disappointed when Peter Prevc lost the battle for the Big Crystal Globe. So this year I was keeping my fingers crossed for him and hoped he could beat Freund. And he really did it! Peter was unbelievable. I am very happy for him and I have to take my hat off. He won what he could. He became the Four Hills Tournament champion, he won the individual gold medal at the skiflying world championship, he won the World cup. He was also the best one at the skiflying world cup ranking. During the whole season he took the record number of points (and he broke the Schlierenzauer's record from season 2008/2009). During the season he won 15 competitions which is also a record. Peter and his brother Domen (who is still only 16) did another record. For the first time in the history two brothers were on the podium together. It happened at Engelberg and Sapporo, in both competitions Peter was first, Domen second.
I have to praise my big idol Robert Kranjec. He nicely surprised me a few times during the season. The beginning of the season was quite bad but in the second half it was suddenly better. He won two competitions, was on the podium a few times. I didn't expect that before the season. I was afraid how his season would look like, especially when I heard that he broke his arm in summer.
I have to say that Austrians don't belong to my top as it used to be a few years ago. So this season I was rooting mainly against them. But one Austrian is my big favourite and it's Manuel Fettner. And our czech commentator still tended to underestimate him. And when Manuel did well our commentator was surprised. I wasn't surprised at all, I believe in Manuel. I was always happy when he achieved a good result. And I also realized I support Manuel Poppinger!
Also Germans aren't my favourite ones. But one is my big favourite and it's Andreas Wellinger. He had to skip almost the whole previous season because of the injury so I hoped he could come back strong. Well, it wasn't an easy season for him. But I can't say it was bad, he was in top 10 a few times. But at the end of the season it wasn't ideal.
Swiss ski jumping isn't in the best shape. I really don't know what will happen when Simon Ammann ends his career. There isn't any good successor! It's quite sad. Simon wasn't bad in the season but there was something missing. Telemark.
I was surprised by the Japanese. Kasai, Ito, Takeuchi, these are the best. For me Japan was always the dark horse of the team competition. Noriaki Kasai is indestructible! He broke the record of 500 starts in the World Cup at Planica! Do you understand it? And you know what? I heard that he said that six is a nice number and he would like to make 600 starts! And he is 43 years old. He is really unbelievable. Respect.
I was quite pleased with the results of French guys. You can't expect top 10 result from them but Vincent Descombes Sevoie was almost always on points. And it is really good. I was also quite nicely surprised with Ronan Lamy-Chappuis. I like him so I was really happy when he took some points.
Poles disappointed me a little bit. Especially Kamil Stoch. I expected something more from him.
It also looks like there is crisis in Russia and Italy. Actually I really don't know what to write about when it comes to these two countries.
I have to praise Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes. I like him more and more. And not just because he is funny at Twitter. He had really good season, there were a few good results during the season. He is the only one Canadian in the World Cup at the moment. He is in the training group together with boys from United States. They also didn't have the best season. Actually, as I see it now, only Kevin Bickner was on points during the whole season. He took just one point.
There were also some Kazaks or Koreans in the World Cup. But anyone of them didn't take any point and I just don't have anything to write about. Also the only one Bulgarian was there, I mean Vladimir Zografski. He took a few points.
I know that I could write also about the women's World cup or about men's Continental cup. But I don't know about it as much as I know about men's World cup. I know I also could try to write even more about this season. And I am sure I would find a lot of topics to write about. But it wouldn't be only for one article but even for a book! :-D
It was really great season, I enjoyed it a lot. For me it was the greatest season since I have started to watch ski jumping. I am already looking forward to the next one. And I also hope one of my dreams will come true, so that I will travel to some competition. I haven't been to any competition so far. Actually I've never been at any ski jumping hill. It must be an unforgettable experience.