Fri, 03 Dec 2021

By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Hermann Weinbuch might fancy to call himself a passionate golfer and a fanatic footballer. To the public, the 61-year-old is known as Germany's reliable title and medal deliverer in his job as head coach for the country's Nordic combined athletes.

In 26 years, the athletes of the three times World Champion won 49 medals at World Championships and Olympics. Gold in the Team Gundersen and both individual Gundersen events in 2018 stands for what he calls an "event of the century".

The 2022 Beijing games will be the coaches' tenth Olympic outing. In Weinbuch's perspective, he this time finds himself ahead of challenging and particular competition.

"We will experience perfectly organized events including outstanding venues," Weinbuch told Xinhua in an interview.

But due to the effects of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, "we will see a lot of the Olympic flair being lost. Therefore, I expect well-oiled games but run in a rather sober and strict atmosphere. We all will miss enthusiastic fans supporting the athletes."

The German coach called the Beijing Winter Olympics a journey into the unknown. "It appears like a black-box," as venues and conditions are mainly new. Mixed feelings remain due to the circumstances, he said.

Because the A-team is attending European World Cups, a B-team will participate in a continental cup run in Beijing in advance of the Games.

Weinbuch hopes to receive detailed information about the venues' characteristics. German athletes might use 3-D goggles for filming.

"Most modern venues have similar characteristics. In Sochi 2014 it was the same, we didn't know much about the venues before," the coach stated.

Weinbuch announced to rely on similar patterns for preparation "as we concentrate on our team building and mental state" to compete successfully in an extremely challenging sport combining cross-country skiing and jumping.

Weinbuch called it close to impossible to repeat the 2018 success as "four years in top sports are an eternity." He mentioned, the German team is containing a large group of experienced athletes trying to win a medal in every competition.

"You have to preserve some calmness and use your gained knowledge to perform successfully," the German added.

Developing a strong team might take longer than in any other sport. "Nordic combination is a team event; you have to feel well as a group," he said.

Next to technical issues, an empathic approach is essential.

"A successful coach must trigger emotions, primary instincts and select athletes who have skills in all sectors. Every athlete might need a particular approach to reach his highest level," Weinbuch commented.

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