Chika Yoshida -FIS Race Director Ladies Ski Jumping – was very satisfied after the only Summer Grand Prix competition this year, that was held last weekend in Frenstat (Czech Republic).
What are your impressions after the first and only Summer Grand Prix competition this summer?
Chika Yoshida: I’m absolutely satisfied with the event, it exceeded my expectations. The organizer started all the COVID-19 prevention preparation very early and they did a great job. Unfortunately we couldn’t have any spectators here (only a small group of invited guests). But the important thing was that we could show the people that we can still compete, even in this difficult new situation.
Aga Baczkowska mentioned that this event is closely monitored by all the FIS – also members of the other disciplines…
Chika Yoshida: Absolutely, all FIS disciplines are preparing now for the winter season and Frenstat was the first test and example of how should we proceed. We have to prepare carefully for the future.
Do you already have some thoughts and conclusions about the possible changes before winter or next summer events?
Chika Yoshida: Yes, I actually had a meeting with Sandro Pertile (Race Director Men’s Ski Jumping) and we are on the same page, preparing in the same way. I heard that Wisła OC and the Polish Ski Association are preparing for the SGP event very well. After Frenstat I will have another meeting with Sandro, but I’m very confident that Wisła will manage to organise the competitions at the highest level. Of course, I know that the situation is changing constantly, but I wish all the best luck to the men’s competition.
You have always cooperated with Walter Hofer and overall ladies ski jumping seems to be really close with the men’s jumping…
Chika Yoshida: Of course, we had been working for a long time together with Walter, but I also know Sandro very well. He had been an important and experienced member of the FIS, when he worked as the technical delegate and an organizer. We don’t really change anything in that cooperation, we follow the direction that Walter showed us. Men and ladies ski jumping has to stay together and cooperate.
Do you have any new ideas for the cooperation with Sandro?
Chika Yoshida: We were already so close with Walter that there is no need to change anything at this time, we want just to proceed in the same way.
Do you feel that the whole ladies ski jumping is going in the right direction?
Chika Yoshida: Absolutely! Especially with all the great effort of all the people involved, committee members, FIS staff. I’m confident that we are on the right way.
What about the large hill World Championships competition in Oberstdorf. Is it a big step for the ladies?
Chika Yoshida: Of course, it’s really important for them.
And what about ski flying?
Chika Yoshida: The discussion about ski flying for the ladies is already ongoing, but as you know, everything has to be decided carefully, with our athletes in mind. But that’s a topic that we are still planning to discuss and consider.
What’s the future of the mixed competition?
Chika Yoshida: First of all we need organisers who are willing to hold both men and ladies ski jumping. But for now we have already in the schedule the World Championships and then the Olympic Games – so two very big mixed events and I hope that soon we are going to see also more of such competitions in the World Cup calendar.