Ski jumping: Four Hills Tournament threatens empty backdrops


Ski jumping

The Four Hills Tournament of ski jumpers has been a real crowd puller since it was founded. At its 69th edition, the traditional event is threatened with empty backdrops for the first time in history. On Monday, the organizing committee of the opening competition on December 29th in Oberstdorf announced that it would no longer be able to keep the planning with spectators after the recent tightening of the lockdown in Bavaria.

Oberstdorf followed the example of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. There, the organizers had already declared at the end of October that, due to the hygiene regulations, it was not possible to hold the New Year’s jump with spectators due to the structural requirements in the Olympic ski stadium. “It hurts our souls, but we now have to pull the rip cord and with a heavy heart forego spectators,” said Peter Kruijer, chairman of the Oberstdorf ski club, in a broadcast on Monday.

Whether the competitions in Innsbruck (January 3rd) and Bischofshofen (January 6th) will take place without fans is still open. The ÖSV is waiting for the development and has announced a decision for December 15th. However, the situation on Innsbruck’s Bergisel and in Bischofshofen is similar to that on the Schattenbergschanze in Oberstdorf and the large Olympic hill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, there are hardly any seats available in the ski jumping stadiums. According to the latest regulation, no spectators are allowed in Austria at open-air events either.

GEPA / Thomas Bachun

The Four Hills Tournament will not deliver such images this time

No planning security

In Oberstdorf, 2,500 fans each had been planned for the competition and the qualification. The waiver of spectators hurts all the more, “because we had worked out a viable coronavirus concept together with the German Ski Association and the local health authorities over the past few months and were confident until the end,” explained Kruijer.

In Bavaria, due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is a general ban on spectators for professional sports events until at least December 20. “We just have to assume that these restrictions will continue to exist after Christmas. Therefore we completely lack the planning security and thus the basis for an event with spectators ”, emphasized Florian Stern, the general secretary of the opening competition. The 2,500 tickets for December 29th had been sold within an hour.

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