Youíve recently had some good weeks in the States with two COC weekends
in Calgary and Park City and the 4th of July competition in
Lake Placid. What are your expectations for the next few weeks now?
For most of the time the jumping this summer was pretty good and I think
the worst I skied was at the COCs this summer. Which was actually good,
because now itís getting better. And after the first day of training
here itís been ok. Not what it needs to be top5 or anything in the
summer grand prix. I know itís possible to jump to be top5 in this
competition and thatís what Iím hoping for.
Why are there just 3 of you here in Hinterzarten at the SGP opening?
I donít know. Initially they were only planning on taking two skiers
here. But they gave me and Brian Welch the opportunity to pay for part of
the trip and come over. I decided to do that and I guess Brian didnít.
So thereís a chance to take 4 skiers here, but thereís only 3 of us.
The last season probably was a bit disappointing for you and, maybe itís
too delicate, but what happened to Riku ńyri?
I donít know, I never had any problems with him. It was more because him
and Kari are pretty different people, so I think itís pretty tough when
theyíre working together. When we first started off to Kuusamo, training
and stuff were going really well and then the competition started and I
crashed really bad. And after that it didnít go really well and I was
getting sick, so like 3 weeks of that time things just started going down
and I never got any better until the very end of the season. For me it was
just one bad thing after the other. I think it was the same for the rest
of the guys, a lot of misfortune. It just happened that Riku was coaching
us at that time and just a lot of people pointed with the finger at him a
little bit, Iíd say. I mean I donít know exactly what happened. They
just kind of thought it was easier to bring Kari back up, which I think
was a good idea at that time, because I thinkÖ Rikuís first coaching
with us was last summer about this time and then they just gave him pretty
much the head coaching job right away and heís never been in that
position before, which I think was pretty tough. I think if they might
have worked him into the job kinda slowly, that might have been a little
There were rumours in the media over here that you guys just werenít
getting along with Riku. What about that?
Riku was definitely like one of the greatest guys weíve ever been around.
Heís a really nice guy. The only thing that we ever had a problem with
relationship-wise was that we were too close. It was hard for him to give
us criticism about our jumping, it was uncomfortable for him and
uncomfortable for us to take it.
Yeah we never had any problems with him!
No, not one problem.
Is it true that heís working as a golfing coach in Belgium now?
I think so.
He was hoping to do that, because his girlfriend lived in Belgium. But I
havenít talked to him in a few months so I donít know what the story
When Alan retired, were you surprised or did you expect it?
He kinda told us, so we knew it was coming but we didnít necessarily
agree with the decision. But we support what he thinks, itís his
decision and itís his life to run and he definitely had a lot more jumps
in him though. But heís not enjoying it. And itís been the time to
retire if youíre not enjoying it.
It always seemed like he kind of had the ďleading roleĒ in the team.
Do you think thereís someone who can fill his shoes?
Hopefully, I mean there are 4 or 5 of us of the same age who need to step
up and get on the team. Alan was setting an example like training, like
being serious and the competition aspect. At the same time, just the way
his personality wasÖ he wasnít as enthusiastic as he probably could
have been maybe around the younger kids. Itís one of the biggest
problems in the US when people get to the age of 21 and then they quit and
we donít have a team, because nobody sticks around. I mean, right know
weíre getting things paid for and weíre having fun ski jumping and
stuff, itís a lot better than having to work all the time and just doing
a normal job. I wanna stick around and keep jumping even if itís justÖ
Those younger guys like Chris Francis and Anders Johnson they may get to
this level to have a team and have some experience. But now at this time
it keeps recycling. Everytime someone retires then they have to totally
start over at the ski team and thatís getting nowhere.
Do you feel any pressure on you as the #1 in the team at the moment?
Yes, for sure. Because I mean weíre not just athletes, weíre regular
kids at the same time too. If we screw up and stuff everybody kinda looks
at us and thatís pretty tough.
What about this quote from Alan, just a few weeks ago: "You never
know, I might be back some day after my knee had a little break."
I doubt it.
I doubt it too, you never know whatís going to happen. I could see Alan
maybe being a coach for younger kids like in Colorado or something. I
donít know if heíll make a comeback.
What about the new ďSuper TourĒ in the United States, do you think
itís a good project? Whatís the idea behind it?
I think itís a really good idea. After they did the budgeting for Kari
and me and Matt, there were only $20.000 left over which is not enough to
actually have a development team. So the idea was that the next guys in
line could go to this competitions and win money so they can fund their
jumping and stuff. So I think itís a really good idea. And plus itís
constant competition which I think is good.
So the best ones will go to europe and compete internationally, without
paying for it?
They donít need to pay anything.
Yeah, the ski team will.
Clint is going on every trip and thereís an extra spot for another
person on every trip.
If you had to decided, what should be better in US ski jumping?
We had a team!
If we had the same fan base in the US as you have here, or even half of it,
then in ten years there would be thirty times as many jumpers and you
would have thirty times more people you could pick from to be the best.
I mean in Germany and in Finland they have so many juniors. Like in
Finland at the age of 18, I canít even count how many there are! I mean
to be on the world cup and have a team competition all 4 or 5 of us had to
be jumping really well and thatís pretty much impossible.
Thereís only a few people to pick from and when one starts jumping bad
thereís no chance you can replace him.
Tommy, was it a difficult situation for you, when you heard that you
werenít on the team any longer?
It was a little bit expected just because of how the last season went.
There was no good results at all and a few times when the jumping was
going really well, but it wasnít during the competition. I canít
expect to be on the team if the results arenít there.
It gave him some of his energy back.
Oh, it does for sure! In my mind, Iím getting everything I need, from
coaching to the physical stuff to everything that I could ask for, at the
Most of the European nations over here get some new suits, new ski every
season. Is it hard for you to keep up to that?
Well, some guys like Jimmy, he lives in the mid-west, which is think a lot
tougherÖ but for me with skies and everythingÖ I get too many skies, I
donít end up using them. I have no problem getting any of that stuff.
But Iím on an extreme, I donít ever have to worry about that. Itís
not like the club skiers who always order suits and stuff and theyíd
come in 3 months or something, so that makes it pretty tough for sure.
Especially with these rules changing and stuff, itís hard to keep up.
Jimmy, is it right that youíre still training at home in Minnesota and
not in Park City?
Yeah, I am still training in the mid-west. They offered me to come out but
it was a lot of money to join the actual training group in Park City like
Tommy and a bunch of other people did. I decided that things went pretty
well last year skiing with the coach I had and so I decided to try it
again. Itís working alright but thereís definitely some pieces missing,
like training programs and he doesnít really have the experience, so I
think in that aspect itís a bit more difficult. Iím on a pretty decent
hill, but it has advantages and disadvantages I suppose.
What about the Olympics 2010 in Vancouver?
It definitely gave me another reason to stick around. A lot of our alpine
friends often go and train there and itís a cool area. And then having
another really good jump in North AmericaÖ 2010 hopefully I mean if we
stick around, we might have something close to an actual team. Itís
realistic and itís our goal to end up getting medals and stuff. 2006 is
also a long time go and depending on how things go we could possibly be in
there for a medal, but realistically 2010 is where weíre hopefully going
to be a strong team. Iím pretty excited about that.
Is it like another chance after Salt Lake City 2002?
Yeah, for sure.
What are your goals for the winter season, especially looking at the home
world cup in Park City in February?
Last season I know I could have easily jumped so much better the whole
season. I just want to keep a decent level through the whole winter, like
getting top15. And Park CityÖ at the Olympics there we did as bad as we
possibly could have. We know the hill better than anybody else and
thereís times where, especially in winter, all of us jump the big hill
really well. So Iím looking forward to that competition also and then
plus ski flying for sure, Iím looking forward to that also.
I definitely reflected on that season and all I need to change. Top30s
would be a good thing to have next season, just consistent. And in Park
City, like Clint said, we can definitely jump well on that hill, itís
our home-hill. Itíll be nice to be at home with our family and theyíll
support us as well. Ski Flying is also a highlight for me, I love it and
canít wait to do it again.
I think my skiing was really well last year and, u know, doing better than
that! Iíve never skied in the world cup so I canít really say what I
want to do there. But skiing in some of those events would be a start I
suppose and then ski in the world cup in Park City and then do well in
every competition I get the opportunity to ski in. Because where we
compete is really depending on how weíre skiing. So hopefully that just
Ok now I want you guys to describe each other. Jimmy describes Clint,
Clint you got Tommy and Tommy has to say a few words about Jimmy.
Ok, letís seeÖ Clint is a pretty good guy, heís a lot of fun to hang
around with. Heís got a good sense of humour, keeps things pretty
interesting. Obviously a very good skier, the closest what we have to the
top of the world and we can look at him to see where we are. I like to
hang around with him, I think itís great.
AlrightÖ Weíve grown up together and especially the last years weíve
been with each other all the time, so heís like a brother I guess.
Heís a good guy, funny, likes movies, good movies, good music and ummmÖ
I donít know what to sayÖ
Ok, Jimbo, heís my friend, heís from the mid-west so he got a
different kind of lifestyle, a different personality. And as Clint and me
spend so much time together and weíre a lot alike, it was nice to have
someone a little bit different come with us. And heís definitely
different in good ways. This guy is fun to be around. Heís nice and
never negative. I canít really complain about any of these guys.
to the boys, as well as the coaches! It was a pleasure.