As FIS Race Director, Chika Yoshida is the main authority in FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Ladies. Miran Tepeš, a living legend of Slovenian ski jumping, has been her assistant since the summer of 2016. Together, they shape the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Ladies with confidence and success.
Last year, the biggest news in Ljubno was the renovated ski jump, which made that competition one of the most highly anticipated events in the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Ladies last season. Did it meet those high expectations?
Chika Yoshida: Absolutely. The event was excellent, with a lot of spectators and high-level performances by athletes on the renovated hill.
Miran Tepeš: The previous ski jumping hill in Ljubno was getting old, so it is very nice that they decided to renovate and modernise it. The diligent locals are already planning to renovate the in-run track as well, lay down a plastic cover to make way for ski jumping in the summer, and install a ski lift leading up the hill. In this way, Ljubno will become home to a beautiful, modern ski jumping centre, and I wish the organisers all the best in reaching their goals.
The FIS World Cup event in Ljubno is considered one of the most spectacular ones. How do you see it – both personally and professionally?
Chika Yoshida: I have personally followed and been a part of the events in Ljubno since 2009. Our cooperation started when the event was still a part of COC Ladies. Ljubno developed and improved their organisation and their facilities with each passing year. This feels special to me. It is nice to see their motivation and will to reach what they want. I would like to congratulate the organisers.
Miran Tepeš: Over the years, the women’s ski jumping event in Ljubno has developed into one of the highlights of the World Cup season. It is nice to see all the vivid action accompanying the race and the large audience enjoying the event.
Your new assistant is Miran Tepeš, a renowned Slovenian ski jumper. How do you cooperate?
Chika Yoshida: Miran is one of the most experienced professionals in the FIS ski jumping team and this is not the first time that he takes care of female athletes. He has always been involved. The cooperation between Miran and me is running very smoothly.
Miran Tepeš: Years ago, part of my duties was also to help set up and develop a system for women within FIS, and that is when Chika Yoshida and I began to work together. With my new duties pertaining to FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Ladies events, our cooperation has only intensified.
Slovenian ski jumpers, both male and female, have been doing excellent on the international scale. As a ski jumper yourself, and a father of young ski jumpers, how would you assess the Slovenian women’s ski jumping team?
Chika Yoshida: The Slovenian ski jumping team is among the top ranking teams in the World Cup for both men and women. The ladies team is also a team with a huge potential.
Miran Tepeš: Slovenia’s women ski jumpers were among the pioneers of women’s ski jumping worldwide. The current generation continues this extremely successful, short but rich ski jumping tradition.
What future do you envision for women’s ski jumping and, in particular, for ski jumping events in Ljubno? What are your goals?
Chika Yoshida: We are awaiting some big events, such as the World Championships this season and the Olympic Games in 2018. These events will help us gain popularity and interest from the wider public. The platform is perfect for showing our sport to the whole world. That said, the World Cup events in Ljubno bring more fun to women’s ski jumping, attract spectators and TV viewers, and offer a great atmosphere. I hope that the organisers in Ljubno keep their passion and motivation for our sport.
Miran Tepeš: Women’s ski jumping is still a young discipline and therefore has great opportunities for further development. I will gladly continue to support it and help it grow.