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Simon Oman |  “Harry Potter Heaven” was not satisfied

Simon Oman | “Harry Potter Heaven” was not satisfied

In recent years, not only the writer of these lines, but also a journalist from the newspaper Neue Zurich Zeitung, has always been preparing his headquarters for the start of the Four Hills Tournament in the Oberstdorfer Bergedel, a beautiful bed and breakfast located in the far south of the city. Germany. According to Malik Bergedel, his colleague is drawing attention with his absence this year for the first time since the snowy year. Officially, because the newspaper turned its attention to other sports. Unofficially, because there are no longer any big leaps to be expected from Simone Amann and Gregor Deschwanden, in the eyes of the public, they cannot replace a four-time Olympic champion.

Despite his lack of distance, Aman deserves special attention this year. Not only because this may be his last appearance on the shanzen scene at the turn of the year (this has already been said several times since 2014), but because “The Icon on Two Plates” is embarking on its 25th tour. The amazing perseverance shown by the Swiss is reminiscent of Shanzen Methusela Noriaki Kasai, who is 51 years old and has not yet announced his retirement.

Aman is “only” 42 years old, but he has left his mark on the sport of ski jumping not through his age, but through his successes. Also called the “Harry Potter of Heaven” due to his appearance, including the wire frame on his nose, the Grubbs long-distance hunter achieved his greatest sporting heights in the 2000s. In 2002 in Salt Lake City and 2010 in Vancouver, Amann cruised to Olympic gold on both the large and regular hill, and in 2007, the 23-time World Cup winner was also crowned world champion in Sapporo.

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The ÖSV scandal at the 2010 Olympics will never be forgotten when the Swiss flew away from the competition with a curved metal pin on the binding, which allows the jumper to position the skis more flatly in flight for better air resistance. The protest of the then Austrian coach Alex Pointner did not help – and a little later all the jumpers used the suppository instead of the usual binding tape.

However, some of the waterfalls of the Swiss capitals are also unforgettable. As happened in 2015 in Bischofshofen, where he briefly lost consciousness after a wild 'star' and suffered a concussion. Only thanks to the change in landing (he now landed with his left leg forward instead of his right) was he able to reduce the risks. But the glory days were already over: in 2014 in Kuusamo, he won his last World Cup win to date, having narrowly missed out on overall Tour wins in the 2008/09 and 2010/11 seasons when he finished second.

Many projects away from ski jumps

Ammann, whose best result of the season so far is 24th in Lillehammer, will not win the Tour this year either. But that's not the priority of the self-proclaimed “main athlete” now. “I'm still involved because I'm still enjoying this project,” says the extraordinary expert who also has other projects in the works for a long time. Such as his pilot's license, his business studies, or a hotel and catering project in his local community Wildhaus-Alt St. Johann, or sports marketing agency ASP Sports.

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It remains unclear whether the 2009/10 World Cup winner will also take a seat in the Zitterbalken for the 26th time in the Four Hills Championship. But if there's one thing I've learned in my ski jumping career, it's that one phrase applies especially not only to James Bond, but also to Simon Ammann: “Never say never!”