For a few weeks, the 2011/12 season, in which you finished 6th in the overall World Cup, is history. How was the last winter for you?
Eric Frenzel: I had ups and downs this winter and actually it didn't go how I expected or wanted. I didn't reach the level I could have had in cross country or jumping. In jumping I was lacking some training sessions on a really good level and so I was not able to show a top jump in the competition often enough. I also had ups and downs in my cross country performances due to physical problems and also because of problems we had with certain snow conditions where we were unfortunately not competitive. But this season also showed me, what I still have to work on and I gained a lot of experience. But still the 6th place in the overall World Cup, with the highlight of winning the World Cup in Lillehammer, is a good result.
Last year you won Gold at the World Championships in Oslo. What were your feelings when you did return to this place and how did the season final go from your point of view?
Frenzel: I had a positive feeling when I came to Oslo because it's something special to return to the place where you achieved your biggest success so far. But also because I knew that I can do well on the hill and the tracks there and I like them. The final competition should also be something special because we didn't have two jumps and a 15 km race for a long time and that was the "real" nordic combined. But unfortunately the weather conditions did not allow to carry out this event the way we wanted, but that could have been handled in a better way. That was a pity.
Many athletes did a lot of different things during the first days and weeks after the end of last weason. What are your plans?
Frenzel: First I used the good snow- and weather conditions to test a few things. After that I was on vacation for two weeks with my girlfriend and our son to relax and spend some time with them becauase they don't see me very often throughout the winter.
Are you already thinking about the preparation for next season or are you someone who needs some distance to the sport right now?
Frenzel: I think it's difficult not to think about it, especially if you want to improve and last season didn't go that well. You always try to analyze the past and - no matter if it was right or wrong - learn from it to not make the same mistakes again next winter and time will not stand still. But during the time I spend with my family I try not to talk about the sport and focus on them instead. The three of us don't have that much time together throughout the year.
There were some changes in nordic combined last year with more competitions and new formats. What is your opinion about this development and where do you see room for improvement?
Frenzel: I think this development is definitely positive and it's an important step in the right direction. But we can't stand still now. Of course there were some things last year that weren't perfect concerning the competitions and also the new formats can still be improved to get more interesting and also fairer. But I'm optimistic that the officials in nordic combined will be able to do that for the next years if they continue to have the same energy they had at the start of last winter.
You are supported by the DKB. What does this cooperation look like and how long will it run?
Frenzel: The DKB is a very good supporter, without their help there would be less progress in many fields of sports and I'm very happy that the DKB also supports me personally. Of course I hope that this cooperation will continue for many more years.
Silke Tegethof / Mariele Stockinger