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Monday, February 6, 2023

Four Hills Tournament: Granerud took the victory

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Nothing upset the Norwegian this year, after two victories at the start of the tour, a second place on the notorious Bergisel and another success in Bischofshofen, the 26-year-old was finally allowed to stretch the golden eagle into the night sky. In the past, however, Granerud was not always as reserved and level-headed as these days.

Granerud first made headlines as a teenager. Back then, about ten years ago, he jumped stark naked from a 60m hill in Oslo, had himself filmed and became known at home as “Nakenhopperen”, the naked ski jumper. The idea is said to have come about at a barbecue party with friends. Similar stunts can be ruled out in the future. Two years ago, Granerud lacked the necessary composure to win the tour. As the top favorite, he crashed in Innsbruck, then teased his Polish competitors and was noticeably distracted.

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Granerud presented itself completely differently around the turn of the year 2023. The secret of the Norwegian’s success? “A combination of material, technique and mental attitude,” says his Austrian head coach Alexander Stöckl. He spoke to a psychologist in order to conduct a stress-free competition in the best possible way. “I’m sleeping very well at the moment,” Granerud emphasized before the decision in Bischofshofen. Before Christmas, he made minor changes in the technical area, and according to Stöckl, the material provided by the team and the whole set-up worked great.

On the hills, Granerud stands out with a unique flying style, the Norwegian almost always lands in the right flight direction in the barrier. “He sits a bit on one side in the approach position and rotates to the other side. He has crooked hips, everything is turned a bit,” explains Stöckl. “We won’t get rid of it completely. But if it stays at the low level, we’ll be happy.” Cross winds from the left caused additional explosiveness on the Bergisel on Wednesday.

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Granerud, whose nicknames “McScalli”, “Skallz” and “Grandex” are more reminiscent of a DJ, put on a show at the traditional Schanzen spectacle at the turn of the year. World champion Stefan Kraft also pays him respect. “You can see that he doesn’t jump the first 30 meters any differently. Then he has a lot of pressure on the ski and jumps straight. From 40, 50 meters he’s in a class of his own,” said the Salzburger to the APA – Austria Press Agency. After the overall World Cup victory in 2020/21, Granerud expanded his trophy collection and ended an almost eternal Norwegian dry spell.

However, there is no special reward for the first tour win in 16 years at home. “In Norway you don’t get anything if you win something. You get a pat on the back,” says Stöckl. But: “The honor is worth more than anything you get. Winning the tour is one of the greatest things there is.” However, Granerud was able to look forward to prize money of 100,000 Swiss francs (101,636 euros) for winning the tour. At home he will celebrate extensively with his girlfriend Karoline, in Trondheim the two recently bought a house together.

Granerud spends a lot of time there in the surrounding forests, as a teenager he had a passion for orienteering for a long time. His great-grandfather Thorbjörn Egner, who died in 1990, would also be proud of Granerud’s successes. The children’s book author is the inventor of the toothbrush trolls “Karius and Baktus”, while his great-grandson added another chapter to his ski-jumping fairy tale.

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Source: Nachrichten

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