AUT flag 2005 Villach AUT

The Old Boys of the ski jumping world gathered in February 2005 in the cross-roads city of Villach, Austria for sport and fellowship. The historic village lies in Carinthia in southern Austria, not far from the tri-corner with Italy and Slovenia, and goes back at least to Roman times, as evidenced by the remaining Roman road known as the "Römerweg".   Villach Logo

Villach Model
A copper display model (above) shows the fifteenth century walled city of Villach. The display stands outside, protected by a plastic case, in front of the new (19th century) St. Nicolai church on the north side of the river Drau (right, display located by arrow).
  St. Nikolai Church

The recently completed jumping complex, the Villacher Alpen Arena, located on the west edge of town consists of four jumps, a single chair lift, and a nice service building beside the outrun.

Villach Jumps   VAA Logo The K-60 meter jump is in the middle and to its left(looking up), K-30 and K-20 jumps share a small landing. Further to the left is the lift. On the other side is the 90 meter jump. The 30, 60 and 90 used for IMC 2005 are beautiful modern hills with perfect tracks cut by machine.

December and January brought virtually no snow to Villach so organizers covered the jumps and a short section of cross country course with artificial snow. This covering thawed, then froze into white stuff the consistency of concrete. Fortunately, winter finally came with a few snowfalls covering the concrete and all the brown grass surrounding the skiing complex. Franz Smoliner When the IMC participants arrived, they found a winter wonderland. However, winter didn't take a vacation in honor of IMC, rather a little snow fell every night, keeping the hill crew busy maintaining the three hills in top condition for the competitions.

The event was directed by Franz Smoliner (right) who was so well prepared, with such a good staff, that he could be seen strolling and chatting during the events. Herbert Berger was chief of the jumping hills and Markus Knabl was in charge of the cross country course.

Organizers provided two large heated tents with wooden floors, one where competitors could dress or wax their skis, and an even larger one with tables, snack bar and a stage. At slack times during the day, participants sat and socialized in the big tent. In addition, awards were presented there on Thursday and Friday evenings which brought participants back to the tent for the awards and the live music that followed.

dressing tent   Social tent

Each awards session began with the ski jumping anthem Jump and Fly composed by professional musician and IMC competitor Anton Zapf, and each class was announced with the the first ten notes of Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. Children held the national flags of the medallists while the champion's national anthem played. At the end of the awards ceremony, all of the medalists were called back to assemble on the stage while We Are the Champions blared over the loudspeakers.

We Are the Champions

The only glitch in the smooth operation was transportation. Participants were housed all over town, with few within walking distance of the jumps. Organizers scheduled busses and vans to help participants get back and forth, but the busses were not dependable, sometimes forcing competitors to call a taxi which could cost 9 to 10 Euros for the ride to the jumps.

In Reit im Winkl (2004), Austria was represented the first time with a team of six skiers. This year, with the encouragement of those six, especially Alexander Diess (below, left), the home team expanded to 28 (below, right) and took home 15 medals.

Alexander Diess   Austrian Team

In the weeks before the event, organizers boasted that this would be the largest IMC ever with over 200 participants. They were largely correct, this was the largest ever, but a careful count shows 199 names in the printed results sheets. It would have been 200 but for the unfortunate fall by Kaare Holmen (NOR) on his 60 meter trial jump that took him to the hospital and out of the events. Kaare was back in time for the banquet (right). (We learned later that Kaare was joined in the hospital by Pietro Nilsson who broke his ankle on an unfortunate fall on his 30 meter trial jump.)   Kaare Holmen

As usual, Norway brought the largest team, 54 men who took home 37 medals.
Finland showed their quality as their 35 man team brought home 24 individual medals and gold in the team event (below, left).

Gold medal team FIN  
 60 M TEAM JUMP

1. FIN -- 1188.0 2. NOR -- 1167.0 3. AUT*-- 1101.9 4. GER -- 998.5 5. RUS -- 837.1 6. SWE*-- 836.7 7. HUN*-- 836.0 8. USA*-- 671.5 (* mixed team)

    NAT   men mdl
    -------------
    AUS    1   0
    AUT   28  15
    CAN    1   0
    CZE    2   0
    FIN   35  24
    GER   31   8
    HUN    5   0
    ITA    1   0
    NOR   54  37
    RUS   15   5
    SLO   10   5
    SVK    1   1
    SWE   11   5
    USA    4   1
    -------------
    Tot  199 101
 
IMC 2005 enjoyed the participation of 14 nations, a new high, but for the first time in several years, there were nations going home without a medal. The table at the left shows the team size and the medal count for the 14 teams. Yes, that first entry says that we had a competitor from Australia, Tony Mihelcic who is trying to establish our favorite sport "down under".

The competition was blessed with good weather, temperatures hovering just above freezing each afternoon, and skies mostly cloudy except for one sunny day. Hardly a breeze moved during the five days of skiing. The tracks were cut in hard, hard snow and were straight, smooth and fast. The landings were rock-hard underneath with a covering of packed new snow that sometimes gave slight changes in speed. Skiers trained on the smaller hills on Tuesday and on all hills on Wednesday.

Competition was spread over three days with a very busy day in the middle. A Bronze Medal Thursday morning at nine o'clock, 80 jumpers aged 45 and up lined up to compete on the 60 meter hill. At one-thirty that afternoon, the remaining 73 younger competitors got their chance.

Friday morning, 111 skiers competed on the 30 meter jump and in the afternoon, 48 jumpers formed into eight teams of six, four pure national teams and four mixed teams borrowing skiers to fill out their ranks, for a team event on the 60 meter hill. A look at the standings in the table above shows a good race for the gold and and the tightest possible three-way contest for fifth place.

At seven o'clock Friday evening, 54 Nordic combined competitors put on skinny skis and raced on nice fast snow around the 1.2 km. loop. Skiers aged 60 and up earned their jumping points on the 30 meter hill and raced three laps. The rest took their jumping points on the 60 meter hill. Those 50-59 raced four laps while the youngsters (under 50) went around eight times. (By mistake, one 64 year old was scored from the 60 but raced three laps, and so was given the gold medal in his own class.)

One Chronic Problem at IMC
At many previous IMC events, the competition jury has chosen starts that did not permit some skiers to jump as far as they should. This happened again in Villach. In spite of repeated requests to the start-gate officials by the oldest jumpers to use a higher start, no adjustment was made. The result was that on the 60 meter hill, among the 17 jumpers aged 60 and up, the longest jump was 47.5 meters. On the 90 meter hill, in spite of insistent requests for more speed, the longest jump among the four skiers aged 60 and up was 57.5 meters.

Award ceremonies for Friday's three events followed in the big tent. It was a long, tiring day.

At eleven o'clock Saturday morning, 65 skiers, the oldest 67 years old, pulled on their number bibs to compete on the wonderful 90 meter hill.

When it was all over, 199 skiers from fourteen nations had made 383 starts in five events. At the right is a breakdown of the 199 competitors by age group. The second column gives the number of competitors in the age group and the third column gives the number of starts. (In 2004, with four hills used, 184 skiers made 410 starts.)

This year, we saw lots of consistency at the top, with nine skiers taking home multiple gold medals. However, double gold medal performances by Johs Johansen, Richard Diess, Aarne Kuisma, Reidar Finnanger, Klaus Günther, Oyvind Villesvik, Janne Heinonen, and Alexander Diess were overshadowed by Arsi Sjogren who took home three golds.

See the complete, official IMC results in .pdf format:
 [ K-30 ] . . [ K-60 ] . . [ K-90 ] . . [ N.C. ] . . [ Team ]
(These are a good source for printing your own results sheets.)

See photos of all the medalists on the podium:
[ K-30 ] . . [ K-60 ] . . [ K-90 ] . . [ N.C. ]
or see a [ Photo Album ] or the [ Event website ]

 
Father and Son
Father and son Diess Richard & Alex Diess
(Nordic Combined XC) Father and son Ruhl Christof & Ernst Rühl
(30 m jump event)

Please tell us
about any father and
son in a previous IMC.

		
age gp  guys starts
-------------------
 80-84     1     2
 70-74     2     4
 65-69    12    27
 60-64    13    27
 55-59    24    47
 50-54    26    52
 45-49    29    51
 40-44    26    49
 35-39    29    52
 30-34    37    71
 total   199   382
 
Johs Johansen, age 81
This year's oldest jumper
Johs Johansen, age 81!

The IMC Committee held its annual meeting on Saturday afternoon in the administration building at the jumps. Kranj, Slovenia was chosen to host IMC 2006, and IMC competition rules were discussed at length. See the 2005 Minutes or the New Rules.


Here are the names of the medalists from IMC 2005 in Villach, Austria:
[This listing is wide, use your horizontal slider (if necessary) to view all four columns.]


           30 meter (K)               60 meter (K)               90 meter (K)               Nordic Combined

Cl.11   JOHS JOHANSEN      NOR                                                           JOHS JOHANSEN        NOR
80-84

Cl. 9   RICHARD DIESS      AUT                                                           RICHARD DIESS        AUT
70-74   JOHN EIDEM         NOR                                                           JOHN EIDEM           NOR

Cl. 8   AARNE KUISMA       FIN     AARNE KUISMA       FIN     INGVART TÖRNÄNGEN  SWE     IVAR SOLBERG         NOR
65-69   SVEIN HUSBY        NOR     SVEIN HUSBY        NOR     MARTTI LAMMINPÄÄ   FIN     MARTTI LAMMINPÄÄ     FIN
        KURT BRAUSSE       GER     INGVART TÖRNÄNGEN  SWE     DON WEST           USA     TEUVO KOLJONEN       FIN

Cl. 7   RIEDAR FINNANGER   NOR     GUTTORM BAKKE      NOR     ANTTI KOKKONEN     FIN     RIEDAR FINNANGER*    NOR
60-64   AKE SALONIEMI      SWE     ANTTI KOKKONEN     FIN                                AKE SALONIEMI        SWE
        PER BIRGER LOMHEIM NOR     JAN RINGSETH       NOR                                PER BIRGER LOMHEIM   NOR

Cl. 6   JOHANNES ORSCHEL   GER     KLAUS GÜNTHER      GER     KLAUS GÜNTHER      GER     BJÖRN ODEGAARD       NOR
55-59   TAISTO TOLVANEN    FIN     JAN HEIBERG        NOR     JAN HEIBERG        NOR     GJERT ANDERSEN       NOR
        BJÖRN ODEGAARD     NOR     KNUT SÖRLIEN       NOR     KNUT SÖRLIEN       NOR     VALERIE CHUYKIN      RUS

Cl. 5   ODD E. NORDSTEIEN  NOR     ARSI SJÖGREN       FIN     ARSI SJÖGREN       FIN     ARSI SJÖGREN         FIN
50-54   ARNT KATHO EIDEM   NOR     STEIN JOHANNESEN   NOR     ROY STRENGELSRUD   NOR     PEKKA TAINIO         FIN
        VAINÖ KARJALAINEN  FIN     ROY STRENGELSRUD   NOR     BJÖRN KNUTSEN      NOR     JAN OVE LOMHEIM      NOR

Cl. 4   RAIMO PIHLAJANIEMI FIN     ALFRED GROYER      AUT     ARI RAITOHARJU     FIN     LEONID VOLOGJANIN    RUS
45-49   BRANKO BAS         SLO     ARI RAITOHARJU     FIN     ALFRED GROYER      AUT     PERTTI LAAKSONEN     FIN
        R. KLEMENTSCHITSCH AUT     JOSEF HYSEK        SVK     MARKUS MALVALEHTO  FIN     TOR ARILD MALIN      NOR

Cl. 3   VLADO ACKO         SLO     OYVIND VILLESVIK   NOR     OYVIND VILLESVIK   NOR     MARKKU JANTUNEN      FIN
40-44   ZVONE POGRAJC      SLO     KRISTOF GASPIRC    SLO     G-RUNE LISLEGAARD  NOR     G-RUNE LISLEGAARD    NOR
        OVE FREDHEIM       NOR     KALEVI KANTOLA     FIN     KNUT BJERKE        NOR     OVE FREDHEIM         NOR

Cl. 2   ALEXANDER ILYUKHIN RUS     JANNE HEINONEN     FIN     JANNE HEINONEN     FIN     KONSTANTIN GRIGORYEV RUS
35-39   BOJAN CESEN        SLO     ERHARD RUPRECHTER  AUT     SEPPO KINNUNEN     FIN     OLE ELDAR LEIRAMO    NOR
        ALEXANDER GRUBER   AUT     SEPPO KINNUNEN     FIN     ERHARD RUPRECHTER  AUT     JOHN ERIK NYGAARD    NOR

Cl. 1   THOMAS HILLBRAND   AUT     JENS GREINER-HIERO GER     ALEXANDER DIESS    AUT     ALEXANDER DIESS      AUT
30-34   CHRISTIAN HOPPE    AUT     ALEXANDER DIESS    AUT     WERNER RATHMAYR    AUT     PETER BAUER          GER
        JORG PREISLER      GER     LENNART THEANDER   SWE     MARKO GOLKE        GER     ERWIN KINDL          AUT

       (* FELIKS AYRAPETOV (RUS, age 64) was awarded a gold medal for jumping the 60 m. and skiing 3 laps.)

That's all for IMC 2005, now on to Slovenia for IMC 2006, ...

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