Warm-up at Ochsalm
A Super-G has been set for the downhill skiers at Ochsalm, in order for them to perform a (quick) warm-up for training and the races. Dieter Kreidl is responsible for course safety.
In addition to the training runs on the Streif, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday this year, the speed specialists have another opportunity for training on a second course, not far from the Streif: at Ochsalm. Construction work on the slope began a week ahead of the races and Dieter Kreidl has been busy every morning since Tuesday. The man from Jochberg is in charge of safety matters and he loves his job: "I really enjoy working here at Ochsalm, also because it's so nice to be able to have a quick chat with the athletes just before training or before the race."
A Super-G course has been set with 15 gates. But why a Super-G and not a Downhill, you may ask? "The athletes need the turns to warm up, everyone can ski in a straight line anyway," says Dieter Kreidl with a grin. He always arrives at the training run at around 7 hrs, after which the first athletes turn up at circa 7.30 hrs: "We're open until midday, until the last skiers make their way to the Start House on the Streif." On race days in particular, hordes of young fans can be found lingering at the entrance to the training run, as there is hardly anywhere else on the Hahnenkamm where young skiers can get so close to their idols. As the hubbub grows, it is interesting to see who is already "in the zone" and who still finds time to high-five or indulge in a bit of banter before the race. Dominik Paris is Dieter Kreidl's favourite: "He's so likeable. We've ridden in lifts together and chatted."
Photo © K.S.C.