ski jumping | Olympic scandal: inspector rejects guilt

The disqualification madness in the Olympic mixed ski jumping competition made the headlines on the third day of the competition in Beijing. Anger and disappointment were huge, and not just in Germany. The Norwegian and Austrian camps were also stunned. The FIS inspector, who ensured the exclusion of the jumpers, meanwhile denied any blame.

National coach Stefan Horngacher burst out in public, Katharina Althaus broke her heart, and there was general disbelief around the Olympic ski jumping facility in Zhangjiakou: The disqualification of the German ski jumping team in the mixed competition caused anger and disappointment on Monday.

But it was not only in Team D that it was hard to believe that material was complained about that had previously met the regulations in the competitions.

“It was strange, unbelievable, what happened today,” complained Mario Stecher, sporting director of the Austrians, after his team was also taken out of the competition.

In the ÖSV team, it was Daniela Iraschko-Stolz’s suit, which according to inspector Aga Baczkowska did not meet the regulations. “My waistband didn’t fit by a centimeter. In principle, the suit conforms to the rules. I don’t know what to say either,” the 38-year-old struggled for words after her disqualification.

“You feel like you are at a Tyrolean tent rental”

Meanwhile, Stecher found clear words and sharply criticized the FIS: “If you have a whole year to carry out measurements, make regulations and then only take rigorous action at the Olympics, I have to ask myself whether this is the right way . It is an immense damage to the image of ski jumping.”

The sports director should have checked more closely in the months before. “You feel like you’re at the Tyrolean tent rental company, the suits are so big. And now it’s being checked all of a sudden. It has to be checked rigorously right from the start. You can see who’s in charge, where the hammer hangs,” complained Stecher about the procedure of the FIS inspectors.

Inspector rejects guilt

The anger of the teams was mainly directed at the Pole Aga Baczkowska, who complained about the suits of the jumpers. She herself saw no problem in that. Of course, this looks “unfortunate” for the sport, she said in an interview with the Norwegian newspaper “Verdens Gang”: “But we have to apply the rules. Rules that the nations know well. If the suit doesn’t fit, there is a disqualification .”

The teams involved naturally saw things differently. Her accusation: The control in Beijing was different from the previous World Cup competitions. “We were told that we [zur Messung] differently than usual,” explained Norwegian Silje Opseth, who was also disqualified: “I really don’t know what to say. They measured completely differently and used a new measuring method.”

Baczkowska dismissed this specific accusation and said: “That’s not the point. We can’t check everything every time. That’s why the controls are a little different every time. How the suit is measured should always be the same. Today is nothing new happens.” An assessment that the affected teams did not share.

Why wasn’t Kubacki subpoenaed?

Norway’s trainer Alexander Stöckl contradicted Baczkowska’s statements and complained that new measuring methods were used. “Compared to the women’s jumping, something has obviously changed. It’s tragic that something like this happens at the Olympics. We have to be informed about something like this,” said the Austrian, who spoke of a “strange day for our sport”.

A piquant detail in the context of the competition was meanwhile discussed in the Polish media. Early in the competition, Dawid Kubacki jumped with a suit that was obviously defective. The fans on the screen immediately noticed that something was wrong with the Pole’s left pant leg. However, Kubacki was not summoned to the suit inspection. According to the regulations, this would actually have been absolutely necessary.

The amazement about this was lost in the general hustle and bustle. And apparently the Finnish inspector Mika Jukkara, who could have subpoenaed Kubacki, did not see the rules quite as narrowly in this case as his Polish colleague.


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