Gregor Schlierenzauer, Austrian ski jumper, is one of the most successful athletes of all time in ski jumping and ski flying. He has won Ski Jumping World Cup, Four Hills Tournament and Nordic Tournament twice. He has 3 titles in Ski Flying World Cup under his belt and has as well won 4 Olympic medals. He has won 6 World championships and 4 Ski Flying World Championships. In his most victorious season of 2008/2009 he set many records. And currently he has 53 individual World Cup wins, the most any ski jumper ever had.
It is probably hard to choose only one favorite memory of your career, but tell us more about which is your favorite memory and why?
True, it’s not easy because I was able to experience a lot of very emotional moments, but if I had to choose, it would probably be the 2011 World Championships at Holmenkollbakken. With three gold medals, it went perfectly for me at that time. I just came back after an injury and literally sailed along on a wave of enthusiasm. All that in the Mecca of Nordic skiing – no question, that was something very special.
In Planica in 2018 you jumped 253,5 meters in the Qualification round, which is the same as the world record. How did you feel when you saw the length of your jump? And how did you feel that at the same time it didn’t count as WR because you touched the ground with your hands?
First of all, it was a fantastic feeling to stay in the air for so long and fly down so far. It’s hard to put into words, but such moments are addictive, no one can take them away from you. Of course it was bitter that the landing didn’t go as planned, but honestly, in the first moment I was glad that I didn’t injure myself.
This season barely started, when you got sidelined with Corona. How was your experience with it, how did you pass your time during quarantine? As in a situation like this, we usually get to reflect on ourselves, have you learned anything new about yourself during this time or developed any new hobbies?
It depends on whether you have symptoms and how strong they are. I had a relatively high fever the first few days, a severe cough and lost both my sense of smell and taste. I was low on energy and drive, slept most of the time. I had no desire at all to self-reflect or try new hobbies. It was different in the first lockdown in the spring, as I was healthy then.
One of your favorite hobbies is photography. When did you discover your passion for it? What is your inspiration in photography? And what is the favorite subject for you to photograph?
Through the contact and friendship with Sven Hoffmann I tipped more and more into this subject, Sven has also accompanied me through my first exhibition Snapshot. Photography is a great balance for me. When I’m out with my camera, I can switch off very well. I don’t have a favorite subject, I just enjoy looking more closely and capturing special details and situations.
Tell us what are your plans and goals for this season 2020/2021? And also what are your plans in Ski jumping for the future?
Planning is very difficult because of the circumstances. At the end of the day, it’s about continuing on the path and working your way back to the top of the world. Ski jumping still means an extreme amount to me. It is my great passion. As long as this is unbroken, the body plays along and I don’t stand in the way of the youngsters, I will continue to work and fly.
Photo: © Gregor Schlierenzauer/Red Bull