Adam Małysz – the end of the career of the Eagle from Wisła

Four-times World Cup winner in ski jumping, Olympic silver and bronze medalist, winner of many championships, tournaments and competitions, one of the most successful ski jumpers in history – Adam Malysz, known as the Eagle from Wisła, at the recent World Championship in Oslo said that he is ending his career. On  26th of March 2011 in Zakopane will take place the goodbye of this amazing sportsman. It will be a sport event  “Jump to the end”, which will be attended by world class: Austrians Gregor Schlierenzauer, Thomas Morgenstern, Wolfgang Loitzl, Swiss Simon Ammann and Andreas kuettel, Finnish Janne Ahonen and Matti Hautamaeki, Germans Michael Uhrmann and Martin Schmitt, Norwegians Anders Jacobsen, Tom Hilde and Bjoern-Einar Romoeren, Czech Jakub Janda and Japanese Noriaki Kasai. It will certainly be a fantastic event,  like all World Cup ski jumping competitions on the Wielka Krokiew. However we don’t know if in goodbye of Adam in Zakopane will take part his last coach Hannu Lepistöe, who a few days before the contests in Planica had heart attack and remains in hospital.

However, this event will be unique and specific for the ski jumping and polish sport. We will say goodbye to the great master, fantastic player and a humble man who attracts crowds to the ski jumping hills and to TV. He made ski jumping in Poland to become a national sport, and competitions in Zakopane are one of the best in the World Cup series.

Adam was born on 3rd of December 1977 in Wisła. He has been married with Isabela Polok since 1997 and has one daughter Karolina. He jumped the first time when he was 6 and in January 1993, when he was 15, he made his debut in the Nordic Combined World Cup. In the same year as a junior he became bronze medalist in Polish Junior Ski Jumping Championship and one year later was a Champion in the Senior National Championship on Średnia Krokiew and second on Wielka Krokiew in Zakopane. Also he won second place in the Polish Junior Championship in Nordic Combination. In autumn 1994 decided that he wants to focus only on the ski jumping. In the same year he got  to the Polish national team, run by Czech Pavel Mikeska. His first appearance in the World Cup took place on 4th of January 1995 on Bergisel in Innsbruck. In this contest he was 17th, which gave him  first points in career. In general classification Adam was placed at the 51 place with the output of 40 points. Another season 1995/1996 was very successful for the young ski jumper, in the general classification he was 7th and  also he noted his first World Cup victory on 17th of March 1996 in Oslo, the same day Jens Weissflog, idol of Małysz, ended his career. Therefore, by commentators and fans, this day was called  “change of the guard.” In next seasons from 1996 to2000 Adam performed with the variable luck, often held far positions in competitions and even he was thinking about  ending of career. But in 2000 came the breakthrough in career of Adam, through new training methods and cooperation with psychologist Adam started to play again important role in ski  jumping. In season 2000/2001 he started to achieve lots of successes, first place in general classification, first and second place in the World Championships, first place in the Four Hills Tournament. The next year was similar – first place in the World Cup and silver and gold medal in the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Later  2 more times he won the Crystal Globe in the World Cup in 2002/2003 and 2006/2007. In the Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010 he won two silver medals.

Adam Małysz is on the first position in the classification of all-times of World Championships. He is also second, behind Matti Nykänen in number of victories in the World Cup. He has 39 and 46 Nykänen In the number of places on the podium Adam is also the second. He was in the first  three 91 times and in this classification he only loses with Finnish Janne Ahonen, who has 108 podiums. Also, only he and Mattie Nykänen four times  won the World Cup. Adam is the only ski jumper, who won five times  the competition in Oslo Holmenkollbakken. No one apart from Małysz won three times in one year on the mammoth hill in Planica in Slovenia. Adam stood fourth times on the podium in  team competitions of the World Cup, sharing with polish representation a second and three times third place. As the only ski jumper in history has won three  times Summer Grand Prix. Małysz won 39 times in the individual Polish Senior Ski Jumping Championships (21 in winter and 18 in summer), won six silver (6 in winter) and two bronze (one summer and one winter). In the Polish team championships, won 8 gold medals, 5 silver and one bronze. In the polish junior championships  Adam Małysz won six individual medals (3 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze), and 3 gold in team competition. As a Nordic Combined skier in the Polish Junior Championships, Juniors and Youths in the Nordic Combined won 5 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal. In his success helped him training staff, especially all the coaches – Jan Szturc, Pavel Mikeska, Apoloniusz Tajner, Heinz Kuttin and Hannu Lepistoe. For outstanding sport achievements, he was awarded with Officer’s Cross, Commander’s Cross and Commander’s Cross with Star (2nd Class) and a lot of other honors and awards for his sporting achievements.

All these successes over the years and personality of Adam made him be respected and popular in the world of ski jumping and thanks to him ski jumping in Poland and in the world has changed a lot  and winter sports in his country have become an important part of the life for many people. Adam has many fans and also is an idol for many younger ski jumpers. It’s hard to imagine ski jumping without him and without his performances, he made for us a lot, attracted to TV, to Zakopane and other places in the world to watch him jumping, he showed us that through hard work, persistence and honesty you can achieve a lot and always you have to believe and fight. Despite many achievements and enormous fame he remained calm and humble man, friendly to everybody and despite the sporting rivalry he is a friend of many ski jumpers from different countries. He had good and bad moments in his career, but he never gave up, so we must respect his decision and wish him all the best and success in later life and in this what he will do after the end of career in ski jumping. But with the end of career of Adam ski jumping should not lose popularity due to the fact that probably we are watching the birth of another great Polish ski jumper Kamil Stoch, this season he showed what he can do and won two World Cup competitions, including one in Zakopane. And we really hope that this is the beginning of the great successes of Kamil.

Adam, we wish you all the best and thank you for everything you did for us all these years, for all of your performances, the happiness and sadness of your jumps, amazing atmosphere in Zakopane and for  the way you are! Thank you Master!



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