In the team of Ski Jumping officials of the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (formerly International Ski Federation, the name was changed after a majority decision of the Council at the last Congress in Milan in May) there is a change of personnel:
After one year, Finn Mika Jukkara ends his job as equipment controller at his own request. Jukkara had been responsible for the equipment controls of men’s Ski Jumping last winter and had initiated some innovations with Race Director Sandro Pertile during and after the previous winter, for example, the body measurement of the athletes will be done digitally and not analog in the future.
Jukkara’s successor will be Austrian Christian Kathol (57) who was already a frequent second controller (mostly at the start) in the World Cup last year and was also responsible as coordinator for the competitions in the FIS Cup. So an experienced man who will be responsible for the equipment controls of the ski jumpers in the future. Kathol will have his first official assignment as equipment controller already on July 23 and 24 at the first competitions of the 2022 FIS Ski Jumping Grand Prix in Wisla (POL)
Statement Mika Jukkara:
“For me, it was a season full of emotions and challenges. This was not the least because it was an Olympic season. It has been an honor to be a part of the Ski Jumping family and to be a part of equipment development. We made many changes in the rules concerning equipment and measurements in cooperation with my colleagues, FIS committees, and teams. This was a big step and I strongly believe these changes will make our sport, even stronger, transparent, and valuable. Here I would like to thank my colleagues Sandro Pertile, Borek Sedlak, and Horst Nilgen. Big thanks also to Christian Kathol for all the support during the season. We worked together a lot and experienced a lot of nice and memorable moments. It was a privilege to work with all these professionals. However, now it is time for me to go to face different challenges due to personal reasons. Ski Jumping will always be a part of my life.”
Statement Christian Kathol:
“It’s an honor to have the possibility to work as the equipment controller in the Ski Jumping World Cup. After the Olympic season, we introduced a lot of changes. My huge respect is going to Mika Jukkara, who was in the leading role during this process. With the changes in the cut of the suit and limitations regarding the jumping boots and skis, a big step is done. Also, the implementation of the clear certifying process of the equipment will have a positive effect.
My goal for the equipment control is clearly to make it transparent for the athletes and coaches, with a documentation process and statistics available for the teams.
For a long time, I am deeply connected to Ski Jumping. Until 2004 I was the president of my home club in Klagenfurt. In 2005 I started as a FIS judge, 2010 as a TD with years of assignments in the World Cup. Since 2020 I have been the coordinator for the men’s FIS Cup series and I have been working as a Ski Jumping equipment Controller”.
Statement Sandro Pertile:
“First of all, I would like to thank Mika Jukkara for this commitment during the last season. We are all aware that the role of the equipment controller is very demanding and not easy to execute. Last year was even more challenging than usual due to the pressure of the Olympic Games.
Ski Jumping is getting very professional and every small detail counts. Therefore it’s not easy to follow the development.
But at the same time, after some months of experience and discussions, Ski Jumping has now solved many issues from the past and we took the chance to move from “challenge” to “opportunity” to improve our sport.
In the last month, fruitful discussions with the equipment companies, adjusting rules, and the brand new FIS Catalogue with all the approved products had definitely allowed us to reach a higher level.
The transition from Mika Jukkara to the new equipment controller Christian Kathol will be smooth. Christian has been the second equipment controller for approximately 80% of the competitions last year and almost every time after the Olympic Games. Like all of us, he went through the full process of the last month, in cooperation with Mika he made the required adjustments and learned from the experiences last season.
It’s a very good solution to continue to work for a high level of the control system for our competitions.“