Italian Ski Jumpers Thankful to Doctors: “Everyone will learn from this situation”

“We would like to thank the health care workers who each day fight on the front line, trying to win the longest and hardest race ever. You are the real champions,” wrote the representatives of the Italian Winter Sports Federation last week in a message of support for those fighting the coronavirus pandemic on a daily basis. In an interview with our website, Elena Runggaldier, medal-winner of the World Championship 2011, talked about the initiative.

“Our federation asked us to publish the thank-you message on our social media accounts. Italy is in dire straits but most countries are facing similar difficulties. It’s strange to have to stay home all day, unable to visit our relatives or friends. Even those living nearby. However, as a result of the lockdown we have a lot of time for ourselves and are able to appreciate other aspects of ‘normal life.’ I feel that everyone will learn from this difficult situation. We all have more time to think. In the rush of everyday life, faced with multiple responsibilities, we don’t pay attention to some things,” says the 29-year-old runner-up of World Championship 2011.”

(…) as a result of the lockdown we have a lot of time for ourselves and are able to appreciate other aspects of ‘normal life’.

Elena Runggaldier

As a resident of Trent, can you tell us how everyday life looks like in Italy? “It depends where you live. It’s definitely tougher for those stuck in a city flat without a large garden or even a balcony. It’s hard to even imagine this, especially if someone has children. I live in a place with a big garden and lots of space so it’s easier on me. Initially I thought training is going to be a serious challenge, but I realized that there are so many ways to train – you just have to be creative and use what’s available at home. We don’t need professional gym equipment. I think the lockdown allows us to learn a great deal about ourselves, as well as to talk more with the elderly. We must remember that all this is also important.”

How manageable is training for a typical ski jumper?

“The lockdown can affect some athletes’ ability to train, especially those living in the city. A lot depends on what they have at home, what they can use for training, whether they are able to find the right equipment and weights. Usually in late May we start hill training in preparation for the season. I hope the restrictions will be eased by then.”