Nordic Ski World Championships 2023 in Planica Watch on TVN, Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2, Metro TV, Eurosport Extra in Player
ya’s beginnings on the hill heralded his rapid successes. The Cieszyn-born player was noticed by the first coach, Adam Małysz, Jan Szturc, who was looking for new talents on the wave of his student’s successes.
He was interested in the second graders, and asked them the same question: “Do you want to jump like Adam? Do you want to win like him?” Soon his notebook was filled with the names of more boys. One of them was 8 years old.
– He was great at skating and was doing great at the K-17 facility in Wisła-Centrum. Unlike Adam, who fell after landing on the seventh metre, Piotrek stopped his first jump in his life – he recalls the initial attempts of his winger Szturc.
This is what we reported about the World Championships competition on the natural hill in Planica in EUROSPORT.PL >>>
She outlived Małysz
The following years brought the player rapid development. In 2005, he trained under Austrian Stefan Horngacher, and won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships with Kamil Stoch, among others. A year later, he got the chance to play in the World Cup. On his debut, Żyła did great and a few days after his 19th birthday finished 19th and 20th in Sapporo, Japan.
Later, although it was still considered a promising jump, it had practically disappeared. When Małysz ended his career in 2011, it was Ślěa who mentioned him among the most promising players.
“He has a much better jump than me and he’s much more physically fit. If he’s going to use at least 60 percent of it on the hill, I think he can fight for the podium – a four-time Olympic medalist was diagnosed at the time.
Problems with the famous “humps”.
In March 2013, Żya climbed to the World Cup podium for the first time, taking first place in the competition in Oslo, by virtue of equal status with Gregor Schlierenzauer. A few days later he added the third place on the giant facility in Planica. Unfortunately, as the player later recalled, the season ended before he could establish his form.
For three consecutive winters, Żya performed much worse. He then became vocal about his unusual “hunchback” attitude. Improper technique was supposed to limit his speed and make it difficult to get out of the threshold.
He encouraged Małysz himself and Szturc Żya to abandon the passive style. However, the competitor stubbornly stuck to his habits, thinking about success from Norway.
“Here it was necessary for Hornegasher to come, who had to say either you change positions, or you don’t train with us,” Storck said then.
Apparently, the style has been modified quite smoothly.
– I had to say something. The coach told me, and I did, – Żya admitted. He did it himself, I showed him the way. It is thanks to him – stated Hornegasher, who took over the first team in 2016.
He had the world championship gold in the team, and he was missing from the Olympics
The effects came quickly. In the 2016/17 season, the variable yła finished second at the Four Hills Championship, and then won the bronze medal at the World Championships on the big hill in Lahti. This success surprised him so much that he did not understand what had happened for a long time after the competition and could not answer even the simplest questions. He also became a sure point for the team that, two days after his bronze medal, celebrated the first team world championship in Poland’s history.
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In total, he stood on the cup podium 22 times. He managed to win the Mammoth in Kulm in February 2020. Crises still happen to him, but despite the carefree Joker’s name, he takes jumping seriously.
He fell into a hole in the 2017/18 season and as a result was not included in the squad for the Olympic competition in Pyeongchang. However, he approached this failure with great equanimity.
– I had more difficult moments in my career, especially at the beginning, when I even thought about giving up jumping. I’m sure it wasn’t a wasted season. There were good moments, good starts. I worked a lot during it, learned a lot and I think that all this will bring results, – he said in Planica after the end of the World Cup series.
I want to keep working and getting better. I’ve learned a lot over the past two years, but there’s always something new. Ski jumping consists, among other things, in the constant pursuit of the ideal. You have to constantly work on yourself, if you are satisfied with a certain level and stop developing, you will quickly lose your place at the top – he added afterwards.
Żya’s goal is “the joy of doing sports”
Interestingly, Żyła also admitted that he does not jump for trophies.
– Maybe it sounds a little strange, but in ski jumping you don’t really think about awards or medals. It’s all about enjoying the sport itself. Ski jumping is a bit like a puzzle – there are many elements that influence whether a jump will be correct. It’s matching all of these elements that turns me on the most. He emphasized that when you build a whole that works well, there is great satisfaction and you will be more motivated.
Two years ago in Oberstdorf, winning the gold medal at the World Championships, he stunned everyone. But at Planica, he did what was expected of him at the beginning of his career – he followed in the footsteps of Małysz. Żyła became the first jumper since the “Wisła Eagle” to defend the title on the normal hill.
Małysz won two golds in a row, in 2001 in Lahti and 2003 in Val di Fiemme. He won his last title in 2007 in Sapporo, when he was only 29 years old. She was just starting out at that age.
Video: Eurosport Crazy joy for Piotr Żyła and the Polish national team after the competition on the normal hill in Planica
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