GER flag 2009 Ruhpolding GER      

20th Event Logo   The Old Boys of the ski jumping world gathered in early March, 2009 in the Bavarian village of Ruhpolding for sport and fellowship at the annual International Masters Competition in Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Skiing (IMC). This was the twentieth IMC and IMC Committee chairman Klaus Günther called for special celebrations for the occasion. Ruhpolding Coat of Arms

Five Ruhpolding ski jumps Ruhpolding is a small village south-east of Munich and not far west of Salzburg with several hotels and many guest houses, all within easy walking distance of the town center with its restaurants and stores.
Chiemgau Arena (pron KEEM-gow), where all of the skiing took place, is about seven kilometers south-west of town on the road to Reit im Winkl (the venue for the 2004 IMC). The Arena boasts five fresh new jumping hills: the K-40, 65, & 90 used for IMC, plus K-20 & 120. The picture at right shows the five jumps. The middle three have their inruns covered with blue tarps while the 20 & 120 are buried under a meter of recent snow. The jumps are equipped with lights, track machines and a snow-cat, and are served by a single-chair ski lift for the larger hills and a pony lift for the smaller ones. Both lifts are at the far left of the picture.

A shiny new building by the big-hill outrun (below) provides offices, coffee shop, changing room and bathrooms. With its low profile, the building does not obstruct the view of the mountains beyond.

The main office building

The ski jumping facility is wonderful and up-to-date, but the main event in this Alpine village is biathlon. Ruhpolding hosts an annual World Cup event at the modern biathlon facility just east of the jumps.
The Biathlon facility

A large building (yellow arrow) overlooks the biathlon stadium and firing range (red arrow, but obscured by buildings). Daily IMC team-leader meetings were held in the press room of the biathlon viewing building, with a view of dozens of biathletes skiing and shooting just outside.

One of these chutes had a snow slide A number of IMC competitors arrived a few days early with the hope of getting some practice jumping, only to find that Mother Nature had closed the hills. We have all missed skiing because of too little snow, or too much snow, or too much wind or rain, but this natural problem was new for most of us -- avalanches. The entire jump venue was closed because of the avalanche danger. Indeed one morning many of us standing by the outun were treated to the impressive sight and the fearsome roar of a huge mass of gray snow sliding coming down a steep chute on a mountain on the opposite side of the valley. The pictue at the right shows that mountain with several slide-paths.

When the avalanche danger had passed, the hill crew quickly prepared the 40 and 65 meter jumps and those two hills were opened on Monday afternoon for free training. However a light rain dampened the enthusiasm so the hills were not crowded.

We'd rather not see this!  
The weather was better for Tuesday's official training, though it was still warm and the tracks were still slow and soft. To reduce crowding on the jumping hills, organizers divided the skiers into four groups by nation, with each group given a training period of and hour and a half. The training time for the later groups was delayed by a break for hill preparation and finally, early in the fourth period, training was stopped and the hills were closed in response to a large number of falls, two requiring evacuation of the injured skiers by helicopter. Most of these fall occurred on the 40 meter jump, where the least skilled skiers take their jumps, and many observers felt that they were caused by "pilot error" rather than by unsafe snow conditions.

Anton Zapf and Mayor
Anton Zapf thanks the Mayor for his help and support for the Concert for Peace and Tolerance.
Tuesday night opening ceremonies began at the Catholic church with a Concert for Peace and Tolerance, assembled and directed by ski jumper and professional musician Anton Zapf of Germany. After the concert of almost two hours, participants walked down the hill to the Kurhaus for a few short speeches, after which IMC Committee chairman Klaus Günther declared IMC-20 to be open.

Competition began on Wednesday morning with the IMC's main event, the middle sized hill (K-65). The field of about 150 entrants was split into two parts with the oldest skiers, those 45 and older, competing first. Skiers in Tuesday's fourth training group had missed their training and were permitted one jump on Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock, before the regular trial round.

An IMC Medal
 
The day was blessed with sunshine and light winds, and colder weather over night froze up the track so skiing conditions were quite good. The winter had brought lots of snow, which was permitted to build up on the knolls of the two smaller jumps, so jumpers had to fly almost 40 meters to avoid clicking the tails of their skis on the high knoll of the K-65. The three rounds of jumping for the 67 oldest skiers took a very long time, so when the 71 younger skiers headed up for their turn, organizers ruled that to save time there would be no trial round, just two competition rounds. Awards for these competitions, and all the others during the week, were made in the evening at the Kurhaus in the village. The top three skiers in each age group received a medal (left) and an Urkunde ("a certificate suitable for framing"). [ See results of K-65 jumping ]

Advance publicity had boasted that Andreas Goldberger and Matti Nykaenen would both be participating in IMC-2009. Nykaenen had competed a year earlier in Finland and indeed he did travel to Ruhpolding, but he arrived injured. It seems that Matti had injured his ribs in a go-carting accident so in the end, he did not ski but he graciously agreed to award the medals to the 65 meter winners. In the picture below-left, he waits with Klaus Güther for the awards to begin. The medals were brought forward by two girls dressed in traditional costumes. The photo below-right shows the girls against the backdrop of the village of Ruhpolding painted on the back wall of the stage in the Kurhaus.

Matti and Klaus
The Podium Girls

Clouds returned on Thursday for the small-hill competition, but it remained cool so the track was fast and the landing was firm. The field of 117 competitors was again split into two groups with the older skiers competing first. [ See results of 40 meter jumping ]

This time the competition went quickly, leaving time for training on the K-90 before the Nordic Combined team sprint late in the afternoon. Nine teams (four skiers per team) lined up to race relay legs of 1 km (the oldest team member - 60 or older), then 2 km (age 50+), followed by two legs of 3 km each (for the 40+ and 30+ skiers). At the finish, the team from Finland led teams from Norway and Russia. [ See complete results ]

The three medal-winning teams in the Nordic Combined Team Sprint:
Top Teams in NC Sprint
Gold (center): Finland - Aatto Lamminpää, Arsi Sjögren, Antti Koivuranta, Markku Jantunen;
Silver (left): Norway - Geir Rune Lislegård, Oyvind Villesvik, Jan Skevik, Arnold Lund;           
Bronze (rt): Russia - Valeriy Chuykin, Vladimir Ulyanov, Fidel Terentiev, Konstantin Grigoryev.

Brothers - The 2009 winner of the World Cup in Nordic Combined Skiing was Anssi Koivuranta. Joining Team Finland in the team sprint in Ruhpolding was Antti Koivuranta (just a two-letter difference). Unlikely coincidence? No, Antti is the older brother of Anssi.

Andreas Goldberger
Friday morning at 10 o'clock, 67 Old Boys began the 90 meter competition (HS-100) again under cloudy skies.

The stars of the day were two Austrian World Cup veterans Andy Goldberger (left, age 36) and Andreas Widhölzl (right, age 32). Goldberger, looking like a teenager, outscored his compatriot Widhölzl by nine points. [ See results ]

Andreas Widhölzl

After lunch, the IMC held its annual meeting, discussing several items, including the 2010 IMC which will be held in conjunction with the first World Winter Masters Games in and around Bled, Slovenia. The meeting ended before the most important topic could be dealt with, the election of new officers. Representatives agreed to meet again just before the final banquet.

Saturday dawned with a centimeter of new snow on the ground and more falling. With the new snow, and very soft older snow underneath on the outruns of the jumps, officials delayed, then finally cancelled the scheduled team jumping competition. However, when a team competition is cancelled, we sometimes like to think about who might have won.
"Virtual" Team Scores


   NAT    Ver-A    Ver-B

------------------------

1. FIN   1101.0   1160.5

2. NOR    991.9   1122.7

3. GER    924.2    924.2

4. RUS    766.9    766.9

It appears that this year Team Finland has bragging rights over Norway, Germany and Russia. The table at the right gives two versions of a virtual team competition. The nations listed are the only nations that could have fielded complete teams. The scores are taken from the individual K-65 competition in two ways. The first number-column (Ver-A) uses scores for the best jumper from the nation in each age group. The second number-column (Ver-B) shows what would have happened if an older jumper were used to replace a younger athlete with a lower score. (Yes, we know that this is confused because older age groups might have skied from a higher start -- it's all just for fun!)

The individual Nordic Combined cross country races went off as scheduled in the Biathlon stadium with slow tracks due to the new snow. [ See N.C. results ]

In the Kurhaus just before the banquet, representatives were assembled for a short extra meeting of the IMC Committee. Klaus Günther (GER) announced his attention to step down after five years as Chairman, and a proposal was presented in which James Lambert (GBR) would be the new Chairman with an executive committee of Lambert, Günther and sitting vice chairman Torbjorn Haugen (NOR). After intense negotiations, Günther and Haugen agreed to continue serving, and the slate was accepted by acclamation.

The skiing was over, and the business was finished, so it was time for fellowship, for honors, and for goodbyes, during the festive banquet of the twentieth IMC. The special efforts of Chairman Klaus Günther paid off as both IMC founders and all of the past chairmen were present.

The seeds of IMC were planted in 1989 by Guttorm Bakke of Norway and Earle Murphy of USA. As they tell the story, they were enjoying a beer after a day of jumping and said "Why couldn't we have a world championship for Masters?" Then they had another beer and said "Lets do it!" And so they did, arranging for the first IMC to be held in Lake Placid, USA with a hundred or more Norwegians, about twenty Old Boys from the host country, and one Canadian.

Past, present and future IMC officers
Six IMC builders listen as Earle Murphy is introduced. Left to right: Anton Zapf (GER) board member and musician; Torbjorn Haugen (NOR) vice-chairman; Guttorm Bakke (NOR) co-founder; Earle Murphy (USA) co-founder and first chairman; James Lambert (GBR) incoming chairman; Klaus Günther (GER) retiring chairman.

Here are the five IMC chairmen, including James Lambert (GBR) who was chosen just before the banquet as the fifth chairman in the twenty years of IMC.


Earle Murphy

Tim Denisson

Alf-Tore Haug

Klaus Günther

James Lambert

Of course, Guttorm Bakke worked closely with the first chairman Earle Murphy during the early years, and when Tim Denisson held the chairman's post, he had the able assistance of Christian Berggrav in Oslo, Norway. Norwegian Alf-Tore Haug took over from Tim, and when Alf-Tore stepped down, Klaus Günther took the reins. Now we have the new era of James Lambert. This year marks the return of Alf-Tore Haug to IMC after he spent several years concentrating on work and family. He was welcomed back, and impressed his old friends by winning a gold medal!

This year's oldest competitor was 77 year old John Eidem (right) of Norway. Sindre Helland (below-l) is the only competitor who has participated in all twenty IMC's. This year, Sindre was joined by his son Joakim (below-r) who is now eligible for IMC.
Sindre Helland and son Joakim
  John Eidem, born 1931

Claudia did it all
Claudia Hummel (left), the competition secretary, did everything from registration to finances to issuing and collecting bibs.
Herbert Ringsgwandl (right) arranged for housing and transportation and did a fine job announcing at the award ceremonies. Unfortunately we have no photos of the other main people who made IMC-XX such a success
Herbert Ringsgwandl

These others include: chairman of the organizing committee Engelbert Schweiger, chief of competition Christian Diechtler, chief of hill Paul Fellner, and chief of tracks Hubert Merkel.

Co-founder Earle Murphy brought with him a number of commemorative T-shirts which he designed, showing the two IMC founders, each caught on camera in a memorable ski jumping flight. These were given to officials, organizers and special friends.

Collector T-shirts

Close-up of the shirt Here Alex Diess, trainer for Austria's World Cup Nordic Combined team, Tim Denisson, Earle Murphy and Andy Goldberger model two versions of the shirt. The front of the shirt carries the pictures of Murphy and Bakke in flight, with the date of IMC-20, and on the back we see the famous words "Ski Jumpers are Special People."

Throughout the banquet, a small brass band, about ten musicians in traditional Bavarian dress, sat patiently on a bandstand by the stage. They played an occasional tune and also accompanied a group of dancers, the boys in their lederhosen slapping their shoes, and the girls whirling their circular skirts. When the awards and speeches were finally over, the stage lights were turned down, and the band played for dancing by IMC participants. The dancing was led by Earle Murphy, who put aside his crutch and showed that he could still boogie at age 81.

The Brass Band   Traditional Dancers   Earle Danceing

The end of an IMC banquet is alway bitter-sweet with long goodbyes with the knowledge that we won't be seeing our friends for another year.

 

A Brief Statistical Summary

The list of athletes pre-registered for IMC-20 showed 217 skiers from 16 nations but some failed to show up, a few were injured before the competition began, and perhaps some withdrew. In the end, 194 jumpers made 386 starts.
Here are two tables -- one showing the team sizes and medal counts, and the other showing class sizes in the four events.


   NAT   size mdls

   --------------

   AUT    21   12

   CZE     3    1         Cl.   Ages    K-40 K-65 K-90  NC

   EST     4    2         --------------------------------

   FIN    32   30         10    75-79     2    1    0    1

   GBR     3    0          9    70-74     7    2    1    5

   GER    32   10          8    65-69     5    1    1    3

   HUN     2    0          7    60-64    12    8    4    7

   LAT     2    0          6    55-59    20   20    8    7

   NOR    51   33          5    50-54    13   18    7    5

   RUS    22    9          4    45-49    13   17    6    4

   SLO     4    1          3    40-44    17   20   10   10

   SUI     4    2          2    35-39    14   29   17   11

   SVK     1    1          1    30-34    14   21   10   10

   SWE     6    3          0    25-29     0    1    3    1

   UKR     3    1          -------------------------------

   USA     4    4              Totals:  117  138   67   64 =386

   --------------

   Total 194  109

The lists above include the pre-masters (age 25-29) competitors.
We have also prepared a list of all 194 competitors in IMC-2009 showing nation, year of birth, and how they placed in each event.   Take a look.

The table of medalists below shows several new skiers mixed in with names familiar from previous IMC's. Four competitors turned in double gold medal performances and four more took home three golds: Richard Diess (AUT),Arsi Sjögren (FIN), Geir Rune Lislegård (NOR) and Andreas Goldberger (AUT).

Aatto   IMC-XX had two "Ironmen", Aatto Lamminpää (left, FIN) and Tim Denisson (right, USA), who skied in all five possible events: the K-65 and K-90 Special Jumps, K-40 for Nordic Combined points, the Nordic Combined cross country race, and the Nordic Combined Team Sprint.   Tim

Complete results from IMC 2009 are available in two different forms. There are six .pdf files posted on the web site (ewoxx.com) of the data processing service that produced the results. These are a good source for printing your own results sheets, but they are not easy to find. We also have results in html form, with handy links, less bulky (about half as large) and not requiring Adobe Reader. Here are links to the results:

K-65 Special Jumping - PDF - HTML

K-40 Special Jumping - PDF - HTML

K-90 Special Jumping - PDF - HTML

  Team Nordic Combined PDF - HTML

K-40 Nordic Combined - PDF - HTML

K-65 Nordic Combined - PDF - HTML

We also have podium pictures for:   [ K-65 ]   [ K-40 ]   [ K-90 ]   [ N.C. ]  

You can find many pictures from IMC-XX at the web site of Masters jumping fan Manuela Steinki.

On the jumping results you will notice age group 25-29. This is a "Guest Class" for pre-Masters. The idea is to encourage skiers to continue jumping for those last few years until they reach the IMC minimum age of 30. This Guest Class is limited to at most two jumpers per nation (four from the host nation) and is restricted to the largest hill for special jumping and the middle hill for Nordic Combined competition.

Here are the names of the medalists from IMC 2009 in Ruhpolding, GER:
[This listing is wide, use your horizontal slider (if necessary) to view all five columns.]


                40 meter (K)              65 meter (K)              90 meter (K)           Nordic Combined



Cl 10   1. RICHARD DIESS      AUT    RICHARD DIESS      AUT                              RICHARD DIESS      AUT

75-79   2. JOHN EIDEM         NOR



Cl  9   1. AARNE KUISMA       FIN    MARTTI LAMMINPÄÄ   FIN    MARTTI LAMMINPÄÄ   FIN    IVAR SOLBERG       NOR

70-74   2. KURT BRAUSSE       GER    DON WEST           USA                              ANATOLY CHISTYAKOV RUS

        3. IVAR SOLBERG*      NOR                                                        TEUVO KOLJONEN     FIN



Cl. 8   1. SVEIN HUSBY        NOR    ANTTI KOKKONEN     FIN    ANTTI KOKKONEN     FIN    ARNOLD LUND        NOR

65-69   2. KURT ELIMÄÄ        SWE                                                        PER BIRGER LOMEIM  NOR

        3. ARNOLD LUND        NOR                                                        KÅRE HOLMEN        NOR



Cl. 7   1. ROLF MARKUSSEN     NOR    ROLF MARKUSSEN     NOR    VLADIMIR KALININ   RUS    REIDAR FINANGER    NOR

60-64   2. THOMAS RICCHIO     USA    SERGEY LENINSKIY   RUS    OLE ELDAR KJOLEN   NOR    VALERIY CHUYKIN    RUS

        3. REIDAR FINANGER*   NOR    VLADIMIR KALININ   RUS    AATTO LAMMINPÄÄ    FIN    AKE SALONIEMI      SWE



Cl. 6   1. VALERII SAVIN      UKR    ARSI SJÖGREN       FIN    ARSI SJÖGREN       FIN    ARSI SJÖGREN       FIN

55-59   2. RUNE TULLUAN       NOR    TORBJORN HAUGEN    NOR    BJÖRN KNUTSEN      NOR    JAN OVE LOMHEIM    NOR

        3. JOHANNES ORSCHEL   GER    STEIN JOHANNESEN   NOR    MIKHAIL PIROZHKOV  RUS    JAN SKEVIK         NOR



Cl. 5   1. ALF-TORE HAUG      NOR    VEIJO STRANDEN     FIN    VEIJO STRANDEN     FIN    BJÖRN RÖYSETH      NOR

50-54   2. BJÖRN ROYSETH      NOR    RAUNO KOMULAINEN   FIN    RAUNO KOMULAINEN   FIN    RAUNO KOMULAINEN   FIN

        3. JURGEN STIELOW     GER    JOZEF HYSEK        SVK    MARKUS MALVALEHTO  FIN    JURY MIKHAILOV     RUS



Cl. 4   1. KALEVI KANTOLA     FIN    G-RUNE LISLEGAARD  NOR    G-RUNE LISLEGAARD  NOR    G-RUNE LISLEGAARD  NOR

45-49   2. PER OLE VIK        NOR    JACK GASIENICA     USA    JACK GASIENICA     USA    MARKKU JANTUNEN    FIN

        3. SEPPO MARKKANEN    FIN    SEPPO MARKKANEN    FIN    FRODE HERMO        NOR    KARI PESONEN       FIN



Cl. 3   1. PETER SLATNER      SLO    PASI HUTTUNEN      FIN    OLE ANDR. SKATVEDT NOR    OYVIND VILLESVIK   NOR

40-44   2. PIETRO NILSSON     SWE    SEPPO KINNUNEN     FIN    SEPPO KINNUNEN     FIN    FIDEL TERENTIEV    RUS

        3. FIDEL TERENTIEV    RUS    OYVIND VILLESVIK   NOR    PASI HUTTUNEN      FIN    SEPPO KINNUNEN     FIN



Cl. 2   1. KLAUS SÖLKNER      AUT    ANDREAS GOLDBERGER AUT    ANDREAS GOLDBERGER AUT    ANDREAS GOLDBERGER AUT

35-39   2. STEFAN SCHWAB      GER    BRUNO REUTELER     SWI    BRUNO REUTELER     SWI    ALEXANDER DIESS    AUT

        3. THOMAS HILLBRAND   AUT    RUDOLF JERABEK     CZE    ALEXANDER DIESS    AUT    PETER BAUER        GER



Cl. 1   1. MAGNUS VAHT        EST    KNUT BJÖRNAR STRÖM NOR    ANDREAS WIDHÖLZL   AUT    ANTTI KOIVURANTA   FIN

30-34   2. JUHA PULKKI        FIN    GIDO WINDISCH      GER    KNUT BJÖRNAR STRÖM NOR    ALAN VAHT          EST

        3. SVEN HOHLFELD      GER    JOAKIM HELLAND     NOR    GIDO WINDISCH      GER    JUHA PULKKI        FIN



    * Martti an Aatto Lamminpää were not eligible for 40 m. medals.  They competed for NC points only.

That's all for IMC 2009. At the closing banquet, retiring IMC President Klaus Günther called on
the Old Boys of the ski jumping world to gather again in January of 2010 in Bled, Slovenia for
IMC-XXI which will be held in conjunction with the first World Winter Masters Games.

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