POL flag 2012  Sczcyrk  POL

In March of 2012, the Old Boys of the ski jumping world assembled in Szczyrk, Poland for the International Masters Championships. This village of less than 6000 souls is in the far southern part of Poland, about 60 km WSW of Krakov and 80 km NW of Zakopane. The recently built Szczyrk facility offered competition on three hills: HS-44, 77 & 106 meter (below), plus cross country for Nordic Combined competition.
Sczcyrk Coat of Arms

The Szczyrk Hills on a Sunny Day

The photograph above shows the three hills -- participants report that the hills were in very good condition throughout the IMC. Aatto Lamminpaa tells us that the 77 m track had a troublesome bump just before the table, but Erkki Ahtianen assures us that the hill crew had it mostly smoothed out by competition time. Aatto also writes "Jumping hills were very good" and "Weather was really good nearly [the] whole time."

Athletes had an opportunity to train on Monday and Tuesday under beautiful blue skies, and on Tuesday evening everyone gathered on the outruns for the opening ceremony, where teams marched with their national flags behind leaders carrying blue placards.

Just Part of the Parade

Erkki's week-long weather report told us "Monday and Tuesday was really sunny. Wednesday and Thursday was also sunny, and Thursday, when the oldest groups ski XC, [the] track was still guite fast. On Friday it was raining a little wet snow, and it makes jumping in HS106 little difficult, and also the XC track wasn´t so fast anymore. ... The temperature was little bit over zero C every day in afternoons." It appears that skiers enjoyed perfect late winter conditions most of the week.

Maiju Kaseva wrote "The organisation team was wonderful, the hills were in good condition. The village was small one, no shopping places and I could not find any culture centres, but it was a perfect place for sport." She also tells us that Sunday brought rain -- good timing!

 
What a Ride! Competition began Wednesday morning, March 7, with the premier event, the middle sized hill. With a start list of 115 athletes, organizers split the HS-77 meter competition with the older age groups competing first at 9 am and the younger athletes performing later. Prizes were awarded at the hill.
See results or podium pictures.

Knut Wester The small hill (HS-44) competition began at 9 o'clock on Thursday morning and with 101 skiers the field, the event was again split -- the older age groups finished their three round competition, followed later by the younger competitors. See results or podium pictures.
Chistiakov at Cross Country  
 
In the afternoon, the older Nordic Combined competitors (those earning their points on the HS-44 hill) moved to the the Cross Country Stadium to finish their NC competitions with the cross country races. Racers aged 50-59 (Classes V & VI) raced 4 km while those 60 and over (Classes VII and up) ran 2 km. Prizes for the day's events were awarded at 8 pm in the town.
See results or podium pictures.
Aatto tells us that the two kilometer cross country was demanding with a big climb followed by a fast downhill with difficult turns.

Flying the Big Hill   Friday's action began in the morning with 54 athletes competing for honors on the big hill (HS-105). A little wet snow was falling, making skiing a bit difficult, especially for the day's oldest jumper, 68 year old Antti Kokkonen who wore bib number 1 and was required to negotiate the wet track without the aid of forejumpers.
See results or podium pictures.
Racing Hard At 2 pm, the younger Nordic Combined competitors (those earning their points on the HS-77 hill) raced for their medals. These younger athletes, aged 30-49 (Classes I to IV) ran 8 kilometers, and Erkki reminds us that with the new wet snow "...the XC track wasn´t so fast anymore."
See results or podium pictures.

On the Bar, Ready to Go  
Good jumping conditions returned on Saturday morning when seven teams contested the 77 meter team jumping event. National teams consisted of four skiers, one from each of the first four decades of Masters age (or older) (30+, 40+, 50+, 60+). The team event is usually a contest for bragging rights between Norway and Finland and in 2012 Norway's Team #1 posted the winning score ahead of Finland-1 with Norway-2 and Finland-2 close behind. [See results.]

After lunch the skiers moved to the cross country stadium for the Nordic Combined Team Sprint. Again teams consisted of four competitors with the same age Tagging his Team-mate group rules as the team jump. The oldest racers (age 60+) ran one kilometer, the next group (50+) ran two km and racers in the two youngest groups ran 3 km. Aatto tells us that the race was made even harder than the individual XC with new wet snow on the course. The Finns turned the table on their neighbors to the east, so the two dominant teams split the team honors. Finland's Team-1 started with a large lead of 1:45.8 over Russia-1 but the Russian team made it exciting as they steadily moved up on the Finns. Finland's racers ran as hard as they needed to, keeping the Russians just 3.8 seconds back at the finish. Erkki explains that all the teams had trouble finding a good wax for the wet snow except for the Russians, who seemed to have fast skis right down to the last man. Norway-1 placed third. In all, nine teams took part. Anchoring Finland-2, Taneli Niemi outsprinted Ilya Kirichenko for fifth place, edging the Russian by just four tenths of a second. [ See results.]

The week closed on Saturday night with a festive banquet held in a large restaurant room of rustic timber construction. Acting IMC President Erkki Ahtainen (below, left) thanked everybody who made Click for Tatra web site the 2012 IMC a success, especially Chief of Competition Janusz Malik and Chief Organizer Agnieszka Baczkowska of Tatra Sport (below,center). Agnieszka received a handsome modern silver-colored deer statue -- a tiny "thank you" for the huge task that she undertook to organize this difficult event.

Pres. Erkki Speaks   Janusz Malik & Agnieska Baczkowska   Shiny metal deer

The Fiddle Band Dinner and speaches were followed by music and dancing with a small band of fiddlers.

In the end, Aatto said "... we had really good days with sport: skijumping and Nordic combined. Village Szczyrk between beatiful mountains was very beautiful, and people there were very kind and good for all our groups from other countries."

Erkki summed it up more simply. "[The] week was wonderful, maybe the best ever."


No new nations joined the IMC family in 2012, but 17 nations participated. (The record is 18 set in 2011.) In the history of IMC, skiers have come from 22 different nations -- this year only AUS, FRA, GBR, ITA & LAT were missing of those who have participated in the past. Only two nations went home without a medal.

Organizers posted an early list of 166 athletes from 15 nations who registered for IMC 2012, but the result sheets show that only 162 actually competed (yes, they accepted some late registrations), below recent average participation. The total number of individual starts was also down at 340.

 

A Brief Statistical Summary

A quick count in the result sheets show that 162 skiers from 17 nations recorded 340 finishes. Here are two tables -- one showing the team sizes and medal counts, and the other showing class sizes in the five events.


   

   NAT   size mdls

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

   AUT     5    4

   CAN     2    1     Cl.   Ages    HS-44 HS-77 HS-106 NC

   CZE    12*   4      -----------------------------------

   EST     1    3      10    75-79     3                 3

   FIN    31   31       9    70-74     7     3           4

   GER    15    9       8    65-69    10     5     2     7

   HUN     2    1       7    60-64    11     9     3     7

   KAZ     1    0       6    55-59    12    14     6     9

   NOR    43   30       5    50-54     8    12     8     7

   POL     2    4       4    45-49    13    20     9    11

   RUS    27   17       3    40-44    15    21    10     7

   SLO     4    1       2    35-39    15    20     9     9

   SUI     1    0       1    30-34     5    10     6     4

   SVK     1    2     Guests 26-29           1     1

   SWE     8    4     Ladies           2 

   UKR     6    1     ------------------------------------------

   USA     1    2          Totals:   101   115    54    68 = 340

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

   Total 162  114

    *incl 1 guest

We have also prepared a list of all 162 competitors in IMC-2011 showing the skiers' nations and how they placed in each event.   Take a look.

 

Heroes of IMC 2012

IMC rules restrict a skier to two jumping events plus Nordic Combined, so an athlete can take home at most three individual medals. In 2012, six athletes did win three medals -- Seppo Kinnunen (FIN) and Klaus Sölkner (AUT) (below) topped the group with two golds and a bronze each. (See medalist list below.) Other triple medalists were Jaanus Ritson (EST), Antti Koivuranta (FIN), Martti Lamminpaa (FIN), and Arsi Sjogren (FIN) whose long run of wins was finally broken.

Six IMC athletes in age groups V and up (50+) chose to compete in the two larger hill competitions plus Nordic Combined, but an IMC rule required Nordic Combined competitors 50 years old and older to earn their NC jumping points on the 44 meter hill. This required the six to compete on all three jumping hills. (Erkki Ahtianen tells us that the NC competition was a sprint, so the six needed to take only one jump and therefore their names do not appear on the 44 meter results.) Of the six, only one skied in both team events -- that athlete was Arsi Sjogren (FIN) (below, right), the Ironman of the 2012 IMC who competed in all six of the events.

Gold, Gold, Bronze
Seppo Kinnunen

  Gold, Gold, Bronze
Klaus Sölkner

  Skied in All Six Events
Arsi Sjogren

Koljonen (L) and Brausse  
This year's oldest competitor was Kurt Brausse of Germany, born in 1935, and Sindre Helland at the banquet Kurt was honored along with Teuvo Koljonen (FIN), the only other competitor born in 1935, who happens to be exactly nine months younger than Kurt.

Sindre Helland (right), maintained his perfect record -- he is the only man to ski in all 23 editions of IMC.

All results for IMC 2012 are posted. There are seven results files for six events because the Nordic Combined races were run in two sessions, divided by age (and the jumping hill used) and the results are divided accordingly. At right are links to the events:
  44 meter jumping
77 meter jumping
105 meter jumping
44 m (older) N.C.
77 m (younger) N.C.
77 m team jumping
N.C. Team Relay
  Logo of Polish Ski Federation

  Logo of Regional Ski Federation We also have four pages of podium pictures with just three classes missing. Links to these pages are at the right.right.

  44 meter podium
77 meter podium
105 meter podium
Nordic Comb podium

A Few Good External Links

The event web site is on the Tatra Sport home-page.

You can also browse hundreds of pictures posted on the internet. We know of two collections, though we don't understand the names. And we don't know if Manuela plans to post pictures.

Click for Photo Albums WinterSzus has almost 900 pictures on 8 albums. These are posted on a Google photo site but there seems to be two ways to access these photos. At the home-page you will find links to six albums while the gallery page has links to eight albums with thumbnail versions of the pictures. If you hover your cursor over a thumbnail, it gets slightly larger and in some cases, the name of the skier appears. If you click the enlarged thumbnail, you see the full size image with the skier's name in an info box on the right. However on our computer, the photo viewer doesn't work correctly. The home-page albums seem to be served in a different way.

On the same Google photo site are 500 photos on four albums by Kuba [?] where you use the same procedure for viewing images as the gallery page above. However, none of these pictures seem to carry the name of the skier.


 

Here are the names of the medalists from IMC 2012 in Szczyrk, POL:
[This listing is wide, use your horizontal slider (if necessary) to view all four columns.]


                HS-44 meter                 HS-77 meter                HS-106 meter               Nordic Combined



Cl. 10 1   Kurt Brausse          GER    . . . . . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . . . . .      Anatolii Chistiakov  RUS 

75-79  2   Anatolii Chistiakov   RUS    . . . . . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . . . . .      Teuvo Koljonen       FIN 

           Teuvo Koljonen        FIN    . . . . . . . . . . .      . . . . . . . . . . .      Kurt Brausse         GER 



Cl. 9  1   Svein Husby           NOR   Martti Lamminpää     FIN    . . . . . . . . . . .      Arnold Lund          NOR 

70-74  2   Martti Lamminpää      FIN   Knut Gustav Wester   NOR    . . . . . . . . . . .      Kaare Magnar Holmen  NOR 

       3   Kurt Elimä            SWE   Kaare Magnar Holmen  NOR    . . . . . . . . . . .      Martti Lamminpää     FIN 



Cl. 8  1   Rolf Markussen        NOR   Sergey Leninskiy     RUS   Aatto Lamminpää       FIN   Reidar Finnanger     NOR 

65-69  2   Ake Saloniemi         SWE   Rolf Markussen       NOR   Antti Kokkonen        FIN   Åke Saloniemi        SWE 

       3   Sergey Leninskiy      RUS   Aatto Lamminpää      FIN    . . . . . . . . . . .      Jan Willy Oskal      NOR 



Cl. 7  1   Olavi Leinonen        FIN   Knut Soerlien        NOR   Anton Zapf            GER   Jan Skevik           NOR 

60-64  2   Väinö Karjalainen     FIN   Valerii Savin        UKR   Knut Soerlien         NOR   Väinö Karjalainen    FIN 

       3   Sindre Helland        NOR   Anton Zapf           GER   Ole Eldar Kjolen      NOR   Valerii Chuikin      RUS 



Cl. 6      Jozef Hysek           SVK   Jozef Hysek          SVK   Arsi Sjögren          FIN   Vladimir Ulyanov     RUS 

55-59  2   Alf Tore Haug         NOR   Arsi Sjögren         FIN   Olav Hage             NOR   Arsi Sjögren         FIN 

       3   Alf Jonny Jenssen     NOR   Olav Hage            NOR   Arne Jens Jorgensen   NOR   Vladimir Kondratyev  RUS 



Cl. 5  1   Jo Kaare Torvik       NOR   Jack Gasienica       USA   Knut Bjerke           NOR   Alexander Bark       CAN 

50-54  2   Jurgen Stielow        GER   Knut Bjerke          NOR   Jack Gasienica        USA   Kari Pesonen         FIN 

       3   Jyrki Sahlstrom       FIN   Rauno Komulainen     FIN   Markus Malvalehto     FIN   Yury Mikhaylov       RUS 



Cl. 4  1   Fidel Terentiev       RUS   Seppo Kinnunen       FIN   Oyvind Villesvik      NOR   Seppo Kinnunen       FIN 

45-49  2   Pietro Nilsson        SWE   Oyvind Villesvik     NOR   Ole Andreas Skatvedt  NOR   Fidel Terentiev      RUS 

       3   Kristof Gaspirc       SLO   Ole Andreas Skatvedt NOR   Seppo Kinnunen        FIN   Markku Jantunen      FIN 



Cl. 3  1   Klaus Sölkner         AUT   Esa Kononen          FIN   Marko Gohlke          GER   Klaus Solkner        AUT 

40-44  2   Laszlo Molnar         HUN   Marko Gohlke         GER   Esa Kononen           FIN   Konstantin Grigoryev RUS 

       3   Sergey Medvedev       RUS   Klaus Sölkner        AUT   Konstantin Grigoryev  RUS   Pavel Kuzmin         RUS 



Cl. 2  1   Kalle Uusitalo        FIN   Knut Björnar Stroem  NOR   Knut Björnar Stroem   NOR   Jaanus Ritson        EST 

35-39  2   Dimitrii Makarov      RUS   Jaanus Ritson        EST   Jaanus Ritson         EST   Stanislav Dubrovski  RUS 

       3   Thomas Hillbrandt     AUT   Juha Nykänen         FIN   Juha Nykänen          FIN   Lubos Cejchan        CZE 



Cl. 1  1   Henry Hoffmann        GER   Wojciech Tajner      POL   Joakim Helland        NOR   Antti Koivuranta     FIN 

30-34  2   Marko Jokiniemi       FIN   Daniel Bachleda      POL   Wojciech Tajner       POL   Daniel Bachleda      POL 

       3   Fredrik Berger        NOR   Antti Koivuranta     FIN   Antti Koivuranta      FIN   Ilya Kirichenko      RUS 



Guests (25-29)  . . . . . . . . .   1  Oldrich Nejedlo      CZE   Oldrich Nejedlo       CZE    . . . . . . . . . . .



Ladies 1   Heike Horack          GER 

       2   Jana Kratochvilova    CZE 



That's all for IMC 2012. At the closing ceremonies, Acting Chairman
Erkki Ahtianen called upon the Old Boys of the ski jumping world to
assemble again in 2013 in Chaikovsky, Russia for IMC-XXIV.

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