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New season, new faces: Coach changes in Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined

Thu, May  21, 2009 - By FIS

Similar to Cross-Country Skiing, the changes in the coaching ranks of the FIS Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined World Cup teams have been minimal before the upcoming Olympic season. Please find below a summary of those that have come to the attention of the FIS Newsflash so far:

In Ski Jumping, former Czech Republic head coach Richard Schallert has been hired by Germany for the 2009/10 season to work with the German B team. The 45-year-old had been offered a contract by Austria as well, but in the end opted to join fellow former Austrian national jumpers Werner Schuster and Stefan Horngacher in Germany.

In Nordic Combined
, the former Continental Cup coach Peter Leiner will succeed Eugen Krügel as head coach of the Swiss Nordic Combined team. Krügel had been in his role since the 2007/08 season. Torald Rein will become Leiner’s assistant while Pipo Schödler will assume the role of coordinator and coach of the Nordic Combined Continental Cup team. Meanwhile, Nordic Combined Director of the Swiss Team, Hippolyt Kempf has also taken over responsibility for the Swiss Cross-Country Team. As 1988 Olympic Champion in Calgary the last time the Games took place in Canada, his goal will be for Dario Cologna, 2009 FIS World Cup and Tour de Ski winner to have the necessary support structure to be successful at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

After two World Championships without medals, the Austrian Ski Association has installed a new Nordic Combined coaching team led by Norwegian Bard Jörgen Elden. He will be assisted by Falko Krismayr and Christoph Eugen who already coached under the former head coach Alexander Diess.

At the same time, rumor increasingly has it that double Olympic champion Felix Gottwald would be planning a comeback. So far, the media reports have not officially been confirmed by either Gottwald or OeSV. According to the grapevine, the prospect of a comeback is supported by the return of his miracle coach Günther Chromecek who already led Gottwald to many successes and is now supposed to become his personal coach, as already allegedly agreed with Elden.

Contributed by Horst Nilgen & Egon Theiner