After Olympic success and injury – Jakobsen is focused on Åre 2019
Kristoffer Jakobsen made it to the headlines with his 7th place finish at the Olympic Games yet his season ended with an injury. After a training season that was constrained by an operation and rehab, Jakobsen is now eager to get started into the World Champs season.
Kristoffer Jakobsen was still seen walking around the National Arena in Åre with a plastic brace and crutches in September. It did not look promising for the coming season. After the 7th place finish in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic slalom, Jakobsen crashed and injured himself in Kranjska Gora, missing the season’s last World Cup competitions. He had problems with a tendon and once back on snow in the summer, it became clear that something had to be done.
– We did not think that I needed an operation but when I returned on snow this summer, I simply could not ski. It had terrible pain so we decided for an emergency operation to have enough time to prepare for the season start at Levi, explained Jakobsen.
Despite the relatively late operation, he was able to scratch the crutches rapidly and return to snow with the goal of racing at Levi next weekend. He will attack the season with a 7th place finish in the Olympic slalom in his back pocket, a highlight in an otherwise challenging season.
– I believe it was really important for my motivation. It was both amazing and crucial, not only in terms of the result but also in terms of my ranking and FIS points.
Jakobsen goes into the World Championships season with a relatively good starting position. He finished just outside the top 30 but has lost some places and will start the season around the bib numbers 30-40.
– It is a quite a good ranking, which makes it possible to finish in the top 30. I really hope that the foot heals rapidly and that I can ski without any complications so that I will manage to score a starting place for Åre 2019.
The World Championships on home snow are his, as for all the other national team racers, main goal which will require a lot of hard work in the upcoming months.
–André for example can really focus on the World Championships. But for me it will be important to ensure my ranking improves so I have to focus on the World Cup to even have a chance to race at the World Championships.
– Sometimes I get nervous – that’s how you know it’s the real deal. It is not always the good nervousness as it can be tough when you know that you have deliver your best and there are only so many races in a season, noted Jakobsen and continued:
– There will be a lot of media attention and you want to have the self-confidence to charge and perform your best. That’s what I want to work on in the build-up to Åre 2019. Once there, it does not really matter and I already did well at the Games. I just need a better ranking to do well there.
How is it to have at the World Championships at home?
– It is amazing, a bit overwhelming but awesome. It will be great to be able to share it with your family and friends who will be there in the audience. That’s not something that happens often, so I think it will be really special.
The presence of family and friends is something that many racers consider to be the advantage of having home World Championships.
– So far, the only competition my family were able to attend was at Levi. They have not been anywhere else so it would be great to have them on site. My parents are sports fans, and my dad loves skiing, so it would be really great for them to have the chance to come and watch.
Now that Kristoffer Jakobsen has made it to the national and World Cup teams the more experienced racers provide a certain safety net. Media attention on the younger racers is limited when the media focus on André Myhrer and other stars.
– For us it is great to have successful racers such as André, Mattias and Matts on the team to show us the way. They are great racers and at the center of attention so it provides some relief for us behind the spotlight to just be able to say ” it was not my best day today”. When it did not go well I can just disappear and when it goes well I get positive attention so all in all it works for me.
The World Cup gets underway for the slalom team including Jakobsen in a week’s time. His goal is to start at Levi if his foot is ready. He is very motivated, as is the entire team after the Olympic gold successes by André Myhrer and Frida Hansdotter.
– I am excited and ready to get going. The Games were magnificent. But they have always been that. That did not change my opinion of André. He has always been one of the greatest in my opinion. But it was amazing to be able to be there and share all that happened in PyeongChang with everyone.
Kristoffer Jakobsen in a nutshell
Born: 9 September 1994 in Boden
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