Tragedy in Thuringia (

Almost empty stands instead of sold-out grandstands, but more organizational effort than ever: The World Cup in Oberhof is turning into a financial tragedy. The Thuringian biathlon mecca is threatened with a loss of more than one million euros due to the hygiene concepts to be implemented. The German organizers are also facing a financial fiasco with the Nordic, Alpine and tobogganists due to the corona pandemic.

In Oberhof, according to a report in the daily newspaper “Thüringer Allgemeine”, the state of Thuringia will pay for the deficit that has arisen. Despite the expected losses, the organizers even got involved in the double event required by the world association. There was no alternative to this, said Hartmut Schubert, State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Oberhof representative of the state government. “If we hadn’t said yes to the request of the world association and instead let Ruhpolding take precedence, we as World Cup organizers might not have been considered in the future,” said the SPD politician.

It is still unclear how many viewers will be allowed to attend from January 7th to 11th and January 13th to 17th. 25,000 people a day – as usual – will certainly not make a pilgrimage to the Rennsteig. “More than 9,000 a day” are hardly possible in view of the high print runs, Schubert was already dampening hopes.

The same problem plagues the organizers of other major winter sports events in Germany. Planning “into the blue” plagues the organizers a lot, said Florian Stern from the Sport- und Veranstaltungs GmbH of the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, after all, at such events, “a certain lead time is essential”. In the Allgäu, the world title fights are planned from February 23 to March 7 of next year with “at least 2500 spectators in the ski jumping stadium” and “2000 plus x in the cross-country stadium,” said Moritz Beckers-Schwarz, one of the managing directors of the Nordic World Ski Championships GmbH. Even a failover could not make up for the expected deficit.

The Four Hills Tournament will also have to deal with restrictions. A maximum of 2500 spectators are allowed for the opening competition in Oberstdorf, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is still playing for time. The Luge World Championships at Königssee and the Bobsleigh World Championships in Altenberg will also have to deal with such problems. “At the moment, it’s all about the task of averting damage,” said DOSB President Alfons Hörmann recently, referring to sport as a whole: “We are at a point where sport needs help to help itself.” SID / nd


Bad mood in Sölden (

When the best female ski racers competed for the opening win of this Corona season, the German team was already on the way home from the Rettenbach glacier. The DSV athletes ushered in this exceptional winter and a new World Cup phase after Viktoria Rebensburg’s resignation with a feared zero number. When the Italian Marta Bassino won the giant slalom in Sölden, the four German starters all missed the top 30 on Saturday and thus the qualification for the final.

In addition to the pointless presentation, the necessary hygiene and precautionary trappings in the Ötztal caused little euphoria among all those involved. No spectators, as few contacts as possible, constant controls: this time there was absolutely no sign of a winter sports party like in all previous years in Sölden. “A bit of a sad mood,” said the German alpine boss Wolfgang Maier, “when you know what kind of cool ski festival it was here.”

But the alpine skiing family has to get used to these conditions, after all, it’s about being able to race at all in the increasingly difficult Corona situation in Europe. Routinier Maier particularly emphasized the completely unusual noise level on the slopes. “You can hear every word, just like last time in the football stadiums. You will have to get used to the silence of the mountain, ”said the official.

However, this should not be a justification for the sporty performance, after all, the processes on race day would have hardly changed for the female drivers, even in pandemic times. “That annoys me,” said Lena Dürr after finishing 38th in the first run, which meant that she was no longer allowed to compete in the final. “Of course I was hoping to start the season better,” said the 29-year-old from Munich.

Like World Cup debutante Lisa Loipetssperger (50./+5.61), Jessica Hilzinger (51./+6.24) and Andrea Filser (54./+6.37), Dürr played on the steep and difficult slope of Sölden not brave enough. “You were far too cautious for the circumstances, did not take enough risks or attacks. Then you won’t be there, ”concluded Maier after the first women’s giant slalom without points in almost two years.

The DSV is now relying on its talents after the 31-year-old Rebensburg surprisingly went into early ski retirement at the beginning of September. “It is important that the future belongs to the youth,” emphasized national coach Jürgen Graller. “They have to be on the World Cup stage.” With the only 20-year-old Loipetssperger, after “really good” training, even in the race, “to some extent you can see that she belongs to it.”

Of course, there is still a big gap to world class. “The established ones are the established ones, they drive just fine,” said Maier. Bassino prevailed with 0.14 seconds ahead of her teammate and last year’s overall World Cup winner Federica Brignone. World champion Petra Vlhova from Slovakia came third (+1.13). dpa


Ski sport: drive for survival (

Steps lead down into the depths, to where people from two different sides meet who are actually not supposed to meet. Another long corridor, past parking spaces for cars and once around the corner, then three men and four women in uniform ski jackets and with black mouth and nose protection approach. This bizarre scene is somewhat reminiscent of an agent thriller with conspiratorial meetings in the underground. Sölden may well be familiar with this genre, after all, the community in the Ötztal was the location of the James Bond film “Specter” – but no film is made in the hotel’s winding underground car park, it is the interview zone set up by the organizer of the Alpine Ski World Cup for this very special start into the new alpine season.

At the press conference of the German team, nobody has to worry that the distance rules will not be observed. Only two television crews and two journalists came here. “Strange” – strange, thinks Lena Dürr. The ski racer from Germering is already in Sölden for the ninth time and will start this Saturday as one of four German athletes in the giant slalom. “It’s so quiet here.” She says not only in the underground car park, especially in town.

In the days before the first ski races, Sölden is usually very busy. The first (party) tourists have already arrived and are getting in the mood for the weekend in the relevant après-ski bars, which are called »Bierhimmel«, »Hasenstall« or »Rodelhütte«. The ski companies present their athletes, crowded in sports shops or at press conferences. And on the road up to Sölden, starting on Thursday afternoon, you can only move forward at walking pace.

The »Bierhimmel«, »Hasenstall« and »Rodelhütte« are now closed. Many hotels as well and two of the three supermarkets. There are hardly any tourists up here in the Ötztal. The athletes should only leave the hotels in their cars, to drive up the glacier or to the underground car park for a media appointment. It is the same for journalists, marketers, service people – all those who accompany the Ski World Cup. It’s not that easy this season. Whoever wants to be there has to be tested and is only allowed to eat and live where the organizers allow it. All groups are strictly separated. The test, which must not be older than 72 hours, can be done on site if necessary – for 85 euros in a laboratory on wheels that is located by the gondola lift. The result is there after three hours, at least most of the time.

The season opener in Sölden with the tightened hygiene concept is something of a test run – and the Tyroleans and the FIS World Ski Association are careful that nothing really goes wrong. The World Cup and the races are “existential” for all of skiing, explains Wolfgang Maier, Alpinchef in the German Ski Association (DSV). Because after a winter without a World Cup, 80 to 90 percent of the associations would no longer exist, he is certain. He knows: “You fight for survival.” Especially since the corona conditions mean additional financial expenses for the associations. The DSV estimates around 1.2 million euros for the test measures in all disciplines alone this winter. The athletes have to be tested every three days on the way from one World Cup to another. That is a major logistical challenge. The association is therefore working with the Technical University of Munich on a concept “how the tests can be brought to the required laboratories in order to meet the tight deadlines,” explains Maier.

The athletes play along without grumbling, what else can they do? “The main thing,” says Lena Dürr, “we can drive.” So on Saturday and Sunday, the focus should be on sport again – in the first races since mid-March. At that time, the season was canceled a week before the final.

The new winter begins with a turning point, especially for German women. With the resignation of Viktoria Rebensburg, the team is now missing a winning driver. “The expectations,” says head coach Jürgen Graller, “are of course different now.” Lower ones, he says. “But it can also be a huge opportunity.” For those who have so far been in the shadow of the 2010 Olympic champion – like Kira Weidle, who has already achieved a few podium places in the downhill. In the giant slalom, on the other hand, it still looks a bit gloomy. Dürr’s strengths are more in slalom. And the other three starters, Jessica Hilzinger, Andrea Filser and debutante Lisa Loipetssperger, are just at the beginning of their World Cup careers.

Maier, however, is confident that they will be able to develop the three young athletes as well as Marlene Schmotz, who has just been cured from a cruciate ligament rupture, and the injured Martina Willibald into top ten drivers in the next few years. “That doesn’t mean that we can compete with Mikaela Shiffrin ad hoc, but we definitely have the potential to counter this.” The US American Shiffrin is absent from Sölden because of her damaged back. The favorites are Italy’s overall World Cup winner Federica Brignone and the Slovak Petra Vlhova.

The German men start the season more promisingly on Sunday with Stefan Luitz, Alexander Schmid and young driver Fabian Gratz. After all, Luitz has already won a giant slalom. However, Sölden has not been his field so far, he has never been better than 18th place here. But this winter, the man from Allgäu promises, there will be a new old Stefan Luitz. He wanted to be “a bit of the bastard again.” Like before, when he cheekily carved through the gates. Often so cheeky that it did not go off without a mishap, but sometimes also successful. Then came a few difficult years with injuries, a World Cup victory that was initially disallowed, then fought back at the green table, and ultimately the promotion to the role of leader in the technical team after Felix Neureuther’s resignation. Then he “took a step back”. Now he wants to start overtaking again. Maybe not all competitors right away, Henrik Kristoffersen, last year’s best in giant slalom, or Alexis Pinturault, will have something against it. But it would be good if he succeeded in what he plans to do.


The five-year plan works (

Not much would have been missing, and the Slovenian cycling wonder would have suffered a major setback on the sixth day of the Tour de France. Eight kilometers before the finish on the bare Mont Aigoual, Tadej Pogacar, the 21-year-old climbing talent from the skier and jumper nation, had to change his bike due to a defect. An inopportune moment for such damage. But Pogacar rolled himself back lightly. He was helped by the fact that the speed of Team Ineos’ mountain range is rather subdued. The once so dominant formation appears reduced to the dimensions of a narrow-gauge railway.

Ineos’ weakness is also directly related to the strength of another Slovenian: Primoz Roglic is currently the ultimate in cycling. The winner of the Vuelta 2019 won the first mountain sprint of this Tour de France on Tuesday, Pogacar landed directly behind. Roglic’s team Jumbo-Visma has replaced Ineos as the dominant team. Above all, however, Roglic himself drove into the gap opened by the absence of Chris Froome, who once dominated everything. For Froome’s successor Egan Bernal as the tour winner, the footsteps currently seem too big.

The starting point of this development can be dated fairly precisely: late summer 2015. Roglic was on vacation when he received an offer from the World Tour team Lotto-Jumbo to come to the Netherlands for a performance test. Like Sauerbier, his team boss at the time, Bogdan Fink, had offered the compatriot. “I knew he had what it takes to be a world tour. He had won the Tour of Slovenia that year, ahead of Mikel Nieve, who was then driving for Team Sky. Nieve was not taken to the Tour de France because they thought he was out of shape, ”Fink told the“ nd ”. “Sky didn’t want to sign Roglic. They had doubts whether it was really good. “

Other teams also waved them off, did not trust the former ski jumper on the way. Or maybe they thought doping was involved. Slovenian professionals were often suspected of doping. Tadej Valjavec, for example, was banned in 2011 because of suspicious values ​​in his blood passport and, after retirement, opened a sports hotel near the border with Italy, to which doping guru Michele Ferrari is said to have sent some of his clients. Rumors also wafted around Milan Erzen, who was sporting director at Fink’s Team Adria Mobil for a few years and later co-founder of the WorldTour racing team Bahrain-McLaren. So the skepticism was understandable.

The performance values ​​that Roglic, who had just arrived from a beach holiday, then delivered during the test in the Lotto-Jumbo laboratory made those present sit up and take notice. The test driver’s words also caused astonishment. “He said that he wanted to try to win the Tour de France and that he would give himself five years to do it,” Frans Maassen recently told the sports newspaper “L’Equipe”. At that time he was a trainer at Lotto, now at the successor team Jumbo-Visma.

The five-year plan seems to be working just in time. From his time in ski jumping, the former junior world champion Roglic brings with him the absolute will to win and the art of concentrating on the essentials. “He’s got the explosiveness from ski jumping. And the flexibility that he once trained himself on skis will certainly help him now with his positioning on the bike, ”said Zwone Pograjc“ nd ”. He should know, he was Roglic’s first ski jumping coach.

In developing his talent, Roglic may also be helped by the fact that he began to exploit it relatively late. “Before that, he mainly trained strength and speed. As a ski jumper, he put little emphasis on endurance; That can be an advantage, «says sports scientist Radoje Milic from Ljubljana. According to Milic, if you focus on endurance very early on, two mistakes are sometimes made: The strength aspect is neglected and too much emphasis is placed on extensive training. This in turn comes at the expense of intensity.

Milic had already examined Roglic who switched to a performance test in 2013 and was just as enthusiastic about the values ​​as Frans Maassen and Co. two years later. An even greater glow comes into the eyes of the Slovenian performance diagnostician when he is asked about Tadej Pogacar: “He had for me even better values ​​than Roglic. “

Pogacar chose the direct route and got his first professional cycling contract at an unusually young age. He benefited from the international network of old Slovenian stars. His compatriot Andrej Hauptman is responsible for his team UAE, who won bronze in the road race in 2001 during his playing days and also accompanied Roglic at the beginning. Another reason for the large number of Slovenian cycling talents – five Slovenes are currently taking part in the Tour de France – are the talent detection systems that have been rescued from socialist times. Often they lead to careers in skiing. In the meantime, cycling has emerged from a niche existence in the country, also thanks to the successes of Roglic, Pogacar and ex-junior world champion Matej Mohoric.

It is difficult to estimate how large the share of old and new doping structures is in the success. Slovenian professional cyclists were apparently also clients of the Erfurt doping doctor Mark Schmidt. In the case of Roglic and Pogacar, however, there is currently no evidence of manipulation. In this respect, depending on your mood, you can cheer, marvel or take critical note of the successes of the small country. In any case, as of now, the small climbing group from the low mountain range in Southeastern Europe is clearly ahead of the high mountain climbers from Colombia.


Tragedy in Cerro Catedral: an operator died after a strong avalanche

This was reported by the company itself Alta Patagonia Cathedral Through a press release in which he explained that, as a result of this avalanche, “two patrolmen were caught and had to be rescued by their comrades.”

Avalanche rescue Cerro Catedral.mp4

Courtesy: The Cordillerano

“One of them had trauma, but was conscious at the time of being evacuated, while Mario Ruiz, head of the Patrol, was quickly transferred to the San Carlos Sanatorium in a delicate state. Despite the attempts of the medical personnel, he died in the Sanatorium “, he specified.

In the statement, the company regretted the death of Mario Ruiz, who, he pointed out, had been working at the Cathedral for “more than 30 years” and in the last nine years he had served as Chief of the Patrol, “a task he carried out with great commitment and dedication “

“He was a great reference and teacher in regards to security for all those who are part of the Alta Patagonia Cathedral. We deeply regret his death and accompany his family in this difficult time”, said Cathedral High Patogonia this noon.

In addition, it stated that, “given the amount of snow accumulated, the hill was closed to the public and the Avalanche Trigger Intervention Plan (PIDA) was being applied.”

On the other hand, it was reported that “the ski center will remain closed until the end of the security protocol.”

Meanwhile, the Undersecretariat for Civil Protection of the Municipality of Bariloche reported that, after the technical recommendations of experts from the Andean Club Relief Commission, The total closure of skiable areas and trails of the López and Otto hills, as well as of all the mountain trails, was determined.

For his part, Mayor Gustavo Gennuso, on behalf of his Cabinet and the Municipality of San Carlos de Bariloche, expressed his “heartfelt condolences” for the death of Mario Ruiz and expressed his accompaniment to “his family, friends and colleagues tasks at this moment of so much pain “.


He was skating with his car in a frozen lagoon and he was delayed – Together

A driver that the Laguna Ortiz de Río Gallegos is completely frozen by low temperatures and took his vehicle to “skate”.

The images were recorded in a video showing how the shot dragged a man with a rope across the ice surface with a rope.

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The episode took place on Sunday afternoon and the police took the Renault 12 driver into custody.

The use of vehicles on the frozen surface is not prohibited by ordinance but it is public knowledge that the presence of people with sledges is only allowed due to the danger it entails.

It should be remembered that days ago a similar event was recorded in Bahía Redonda, in El Calafate, where a group of young people used a buggy to carry out dangerous maneuvers, in that nature reserve.

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Mirta Espina’s report.


Kuttin comes, Ackermann has to go (

Heinz Kuttin, once head of the special jumpers at Team Austria

Photo: imago images / Newspix

The “renegade” Heinz Kuttin becomes the new right hand of national coach icon Hermann Weinbuch, whose crown prince Ronny Ackermann is out for it: The German combiners made a bang nine months before the home World Cup in Oberstdorf and after a disappointing season turned their coaching team upside down . Austria’s former national coach Kuttin, who had recently caused bad blood with his refusal to France, is supposed to give wings to the recently weak “dominants” again.

»I am really looking forward to this new task. The Nordic Combination discipline has been one of the guarantors of success in the German Ski Association for many years, and I would like to do my part to ensure that this success story will continue in the future, «said Kuttin, whose return to the DSV comes as a surprise after twelve years.

The 49-year-old ski jumping double world champion from 1991, who had recently trained the Chinese women, had recently been presented by the French association as the new head coach. Shortly thereafter, Kuttin withdrew his verbal promise because he had an offer from a large ski jumping nation. “It was a shock, we are all humanly injured and feel a bit cheated,” said French sports director Jerome Laheurte.

As Austria’s national coach, Kuttin resigned in 2018 after four unfortunate years – the Carinthian also had to accept harsh criticism from Team Austria. Horst Hüttel, team manager of the German national team, was pleased: »With Heinz Kuttin we were able to hire a proven specialist and experienced ski jumping coach for the World Cup team. The team of trainers led by Hermann Weinbuch, Kai Bracht and Heinz Kuttin has a high level of expertise and experience. All athletes should benefit from this. «

From 2006 to 2008, Kuttin had trained the B squad of German special jumpers and hoped to be promoted to coach of the A team. This job then went to Kuttin’s compatriot Werner Schuster, who led the DSV eagles back to the top of the world – Kuttin left the association.

His new boss Weinbuch (60) has been national coach since 1996 and celebrated huge successes. It was agreed that the four-time world champion Ackermann Weinbuch should inherit once. “Ackermann will become national coach”, the DSV had already announced on its website in September 2011 (!) That it “should replace Hermann Weinbuch after the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia”. Six years after Sochi, Ackermann, who couldn’t get the weaknesses of Eric Frenzel, Johannes Rydzek and Co. on the hill under control, is now going to Weinbuch.

»I personally believe that this potential can be brought to the fore with a new address by new acting people. So I decided to clear the way for a change in the coaching team, «said Ackermann, who will now be involved in a different role at DSV.

Johannes Rydzek, who became world champion six times under Ackermann, found warm words: »Inspiration, role model, trainer and companion – dear Ronny, thank you for everything you have been to me in the past 15 years. Without you, my success would not have been possible, «he wrote on Facebook. SID / nd