It all started with an unexpected call in October 2014 from an old friend/co-worker...and there was this idea. To give a small sport more credit. To show the world that they exist. FIS puts their sport into OTHER DISCIPLINES. I guess thats why google couldn't find their calendar for 2014/2015 season when I was searching for it.
But then this pilot project received a green light. At least for one race - Season opening in Hintertux. We came, we did it, we did many mistakes while doing it - but the project showed potential. After the races - everyone wanted to have the footage from the race. As they were afraid that it was the only time they were live.
Their fear - if one existed - did not come true. First we did the mini 9days tour Bad-Hindelang-Golte-Rauris...and got away with some really impressing number - 7.5million people watched the 20min and the 6min clip from the races in Bad Hindelang. If I tell you - it was the 3rd most watched sport in Germany that weekend & that more people watched this than the victory of Felix Neureuther in Wengen - than you can imagine how impressive this number is.
While traveling for this 9days I realized how special athletes in this sport are. Willingness to help each other, enjoying the sport and not fighting after hard fights in parallel loom - it was quite amazing for me. In other sports they can not even shake hands after a match...and I started to fall-in-love with the sport.
Not all was well of course. We were something totally new for the organizers. We had many requests, as there are things we can not do by ourselves; not only that - we had to change the routine of the timekeepers. We had to help each-other out. And eventually we did. When they realized we are not an enemy - we are someone who makes them look good. Who make the whole race look good - and with co-operation - that can not be done. Thankfully we all learned that. We have much to improve - but next year things will be easier.
So after the small tour - came the big tour. We left home on 16.2. to Steamboat USA and returned from the finals in Rjukan NORWAY on 23.3.
In this time Telemark got new Junior World Champions & Adult World Champions, a race in Muerren was "transformed" from Parallel to Sprint, Amelie Reymond was beaten by Ilebrekke Mathilde after having an incredible winning streak of 11 races, Bastien Dayer won the globe for overall Classic ranking, Philippe Lau and Tobias Mueller had an epic fight for overall WC, people from 156countries watched the livestream, we had 3 commentators, including FIS Telemark president Nobby Clark, got published on 4 or 5 national TV stations and many other smaller ones; got some tan lines, had some nice assistants and Mr. Jonas Schmid knocked out our GOPRO camera 5times!
So all in all...it was an exhausting tour de Telemark, but in the end it has a very positive feel. Of course there were mistakes, but I believe the original purpose of the project - better presentation of the sport was achieved. Athletes now have something to show to potential sponsors; the numbers and diversity of the viewers show - there is a big interest in the sport and our team members were stopped by many spectators thanking for this project - whether it was from parents - who can now watch their sons and daughters in action; or the timing guys - which wives called them and let them know - it looks great; or the big bosses from national federations who can really see the prospect of this sport.
And that is the feeling that is pushing us forward - for hopefully another season of Telemark World Cup livestream - with better internet speeds and stability, more cameras and more air time with TVs.
A big thanks to my crew who gave their best and made it all possible:
Anze Furlan, Nik Korošec, Sabina Brdnik, Goran Krošelj, Haidy Kancler,Matjaž Arih and of course the Big Boss - Urban Simčič who got us all involved in this project.
And for the end...all I can say is:
Winter was magical, so is Telemark. So next year try it & watch it LIVE
p.s.: Until then...you can still check our previous streams at:
Contribution writen by: Miha Hvale, Perfekcija