Expert’s Corner: Simon Schempp

Ruhpolding is home for this week’s expert, Simon Schempp; he and partner Franziska Preuss recently built their dream house in the village where they have lived for many years. Three-time Olympic medalist knows every inch of the Chiemgau Arena and understands the rigours and joy of competing in his home arena.

After Benni Doll’s second win in the Sprint and second place in the Men’s Relay in Oberhof, I remain impressed with Team Germany. Benni has often shown that he can win races. However, the fact that Philipp Nawrath secured his first-ever World Cup victory in the second race of the season, then took the Yellow Jersey, and that he keeps producing strong performances is remarkable. The whole team has developed very positively, and they seem able to finish on the podium in almost every competition, not just one athlete, but several athletes. I am confident that German men will do well in Ruhpolding, where the conditions should be much better than in Oberhof.

Of course, I am really proud of Franzi and how she returns to the top of the sport. I know how big her potential is and how much she puts into the sport - that's what I never doubted that she would reach her best level again. It was really important that she had a good first week in Oestersund - she gained so much confidence right away and her sparkle was back with just one race.

Justine Braisaz-Bouchet’s current success is hard to overlook. She has an incredibly high basic speed and can distance herself from her opponents on the track. Her technique is simply wonderful: she skis so economically and dynamically. She makes the skis run very well and has the necessary power. In addition, Justine usually trusts her standing shooting prowess, and if she gets smoothly through the prone, it is almost impossible to beat her.

I tell all the athletes: It is a privilege to compete in front of Ruhpolding crowd! When you are grateful for that, the pressure becomes additional motivation. When I remember how wonderful it was to compete in the home stadium, a bit of melancholy sets in. There is nothing better than the intense nervousness before the races and then celebrating with the fans and soaking in the fantastic atmosphere after achieving a top result. That thrill is something you can get addicted to.

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