Biathlon – illustrative photo.
Oberhof (Germany) – He has only been active in the Czech biathlon for a few months, yet already words of praise are being heard for Austrian expert Benjamin Eder. In the team, he is responsible for grinding the skis, and even at the World Championships in Oberhof, he tries to prepare the best possible structures for the representatives, thanks to which they would keep up with the elite on the track. In an interview with Czech journalists, the forty-two-year-old Eder said that he prepares his skis six hours before the start and is also happy for the feedback from the competitors.
Photo gallery: Biathlon WC in Oberhof
“That we now had a day off on Monday? For us there is no day off at the World Cup. There is always something to test,” said Eder with a smile.
The former Austrian biathlete was interested in the secrets of skiing already during his active career. He finished this in 2001 and half a year later received an offer from the Fischer company, where he worked for eight years. After that, he became a serviceman in the Austrian team for ten years, then moved to the Belarusians, and now before the season he agreed to work with the Czech national team. why not. I wanted to break into it. My strongest point is ski grinding. I think there aren't that many people who can really do it. There are a few in the world and I'm happy to be one of them,” said Eder.
In the service team, he works with three other colleagues, who mainly deal with grease. Former men's coach Zdeněk Vítek also helps them during the championship. “Lubrication is usually handled by Samuel Závalec. We certainly talk about it, but it is not my main responsibility,” Eder pointed out.
They are at the stadium six hours before the race. They go to test three hours before the start. When there are two races in a day, the program is more complicated. “It's always challenging, but with two races, the biggest challenge is that you don't have time. On Sunday after the women's race, there might not have been time to test for the men's race. You have to test it beforehand,” said Eder.
According to him, the wetter the snow, the coarser the structure. “However, there are still many variants of it. It is an endless process,” described the Austrian expert.
He also has a special sander available in the Oberhof. But success does not depend only on her. “It's mainly about the person who works for her. He is more important,” he emphasized the value of know-how. Compared to other nations, he thinks they all use similar equipment, the only difference is the system. “Even I don't know how the Norwegians work, for example. It's important to have a system so you don't screw it up,” he says. He himself adheres to the rules that he established from his time with the Austrian team.
During the race, he helps out on the track or prepares for the next day. “After the race, it takes us five hours to finish. We had a twelve-hour day on Sunday and they got to the hotel around eight,” described Eder, who married Finnish biathlete Mari Laukkanen (now Eder) five years ago.
< p>Thanks to working with her, he can ride around the races. “It's a big benefit,” he said. He also discusses the quality of the skis with his wife. “They are at the Finnish service, which also works well. Then he will also tell me if they were good or not. It is nice to have a comparison,” said Eder.
However, he deals with the skis primarily with the Czech team. And he is happy for every feedback. “Rather, we talk in general, how they felt about them and what speed,” said Eder. The most active is Michal Krčmář. “He likes to talk about them. But always in the right direction and constructively. It is important for us that we have feedback. We can improve and find something better.”
The Austrian expert's work is also praised by the representative himself. “During my career, I've met a lot of servicemen. Even we are very delicate to evaluate skis when they don't work. But I have to say that I don't feel this with Beny. He approaches it like a professional and you can have a reasonable conversation with him about everything. I rate him as a huge professional with a lot of experience. He has moved our service enormously forward. I am glad that he is here and I believe that the four-year cycle with him will be successful,” added Krčmář.
He will rely on his skis even today in the endurance the race from 14:30.