The evening before the greatest sporting achievement of his young life, Marius Lindvik studied his own jumps. During the day, in qualifying, he was only 35, he had problems with the timing. So he watched himself on video. "Then I knew exactly what I had to do for a good jump. And that's exactly what I did."
It is an understatement when Lindvik speaks of a good jump. Because what the Norwegian delivered in New Year's jumping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen was an exceptional achievement. In the first round he set the ten-year-old hill record of the Swiss Simon Ammann with a width of 143.5 meters.
Lindvik, who does not have the "d" in his surname, is 21 years old and is taking part in a four-hill tour for the first time. Until his success in Garmisch, he had not even won a single World Cup competition. Was it the best jump in his life? "Probably," said Lindvik.
9 picturesLindvik's victory in Garmisch: into the new year with a giant leap
The conditions for this were not even particularly good. The supportive upwind, which all ski jumpers love, was missing, but the Norwegians especially because they are the best aviators and are particularly good at converting upwind into distance. Lindvik had to jump without this updraft, and in the end even got 1.4 points for rather bad wind. He presented a perfect jump, the jump powerful, the body ideally positioned over the skis.
Behind it, as the second best jump of his life, you have to classify the one from the second round.
Competitors Karl Geiger, Dawid Kubacki and Ryoyu Kobayashi showed outstanding jumps in good conditions ahead of him. The pressure was high, Lindvik had to counter. "I was just trying to stay calm, hide everything and focus on my things upstairs," said Lindvik. He had no idea how far the three jumped in front of him.
One of the greatest talents in his sport
Immediately before it was his turn, the wind suddenly blew from behind. He had the worst conditions of all 30 jumpers in the second round - and still showed a jump that was enough for the day's victory.
Lindvik's performance was spectacular, but not necessarily a sensation. This would not do it justice in advance. The record jump may not have been foreseeable on this day that Lindvik is one of the greatest talents in his sport, but it had hinted.
Two years ago, he became junior world champion, followed by a few appearances in the World Cup. It then took a while before he could fight his way to the front row in the very large Norwegian team. This year, and especially in the weeks before the tour, the trail got hotter and hotter. In Klingenthal, Lindvik jumped onto the podium for the first time in his career, followed by two further finishes in the top ten and ninth in the overall World Cup ranking in Engelberg.
The podium is within reach
Maybe Lindvik is even the best jumper on the tour so far. Already in Oberstdorf he managed the longest day jump of all participants with 139 meters in the first round, even if distances cannot always be compared due to different run-up lengths and wind conditions. Poor posture grades and a weaker second attempt - despite difficult wind conditions - prevented a better result than tenth. Lindvik remained under the radar for three more days.
After four of eight jumps, he is now fourth overall, 18.9 points behind the leader Kobayashi and 10.4 points behind Kubacki in third place. The next competition will take place in Innsbruck, qualification starts on Friday and the competition starts on Saturday (2 p.m., TV: ZDF and Eurosport; live ticker DER SPIEGEL). Kobayashi might be a little too far away, but the podium is within reach.
"I know that my jumps are good enough for that," said Lindvik. He tries not to think about the overall classification. What does he dare to do on the two ski jumps in Austria? "Innsbruck is pretty good. I was there in the summer and did a few jumps." And Bischofshofen? "I've never jumped there." It is the first four-hill tour for Lindvik. Given his achievements, it's easy to forget.