Where did the mountain promise Vilho Palosaari disappear to? Now talks about his back injury – “You could forget this season already” | Sport

Where did the mountain promise Vilho Palosaari disappear to Now

The season that ended with the championships on Sunday was supposed to be Vilho Palosaari’s breakthrough into the adult elite. Instead, it became a heaven of pain.

– I’ve had the same feeling for a long time, that summer would come and I could already forget this season.

Vilho Palosaari sums up his feelings succinctly and sighs after. The 19-year-old ski jumping promise has experienced the extremes of top sports in one year.

In the spring of 2023, the name Palosaari was on the lips of Finns breathing winter sports. The promise of Kuusamo’s Erä-Veikkou won the youth world championship and flashed his potential by scoring twice in the adult world cup as well.

When Palosaari’s physics results improved significantly in the summer, everything was set for a breakthrough in the 2023–2024 season. However, the end result was harsh.

In the winter, Palosaari appeared in World Cup competitions only in Ruka and Lahti. At his best, he was 45th. In addition to this, four races from racing series lower than the World Cup, Continental and FIS cups were accumulated in the poster. Even in these rough spots, Palosaari was far from the top.

In February, Palosaari defended the youth world championship in Planica, but this time he finished 20th.

While Palosaari’s name was found in every domestic sports media a year ago, the internet headlines about Palosaari this winter can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

The reason goes back to autumn 2023.

– The back problems started a couple of months before the World Cup in Ruka. There has been stiffness and deep muscle pain in the lower back, and the problem has been there all winter, says Palosaari.

The problem has had an immediate impact on the landing position, where the jumper should be as relaxed as possible.

– It has affected the landing position terribly. It has felt like I did a leg workout in the gym, describes Palosaari, who turned 19 in July.

– I have also grown 3-4 centimeters in height during the year, which has also confused jumping.

Influenza was a dot on the i

In March, Palosaari went to the world cup in Lahti without any kind of preparation.

After the Junior World Championships at the beginning of February, he had the flu for two weeks, which included a fever of 40 degrees. It was the final death blow for Palosaari’s season.

– The disappointment of this season feels even worse because I knew that I was in a really good shot last summer. Thanks to that, expectations were high both for myself and the coaches, says Palosaari.

– But I’d rather take that bad season now than in the near future. Every season can’t be as good as the last.

Health first

In the case of Palosaari, there is enough time to reach the top of the world. For example, in the season that ended, the average age of the top ten jumpers in the World Cup was 28.4 years, and in 19 of the 32 individual competitions, the winner was over 30 years old.

Palosaari’s recipe for reaching the top is simple.

– Next season I have to be able to go around the games in the normal way. Staying fit and healthy is the most important thing.

– Now only maintenance of the body, hard stretching and improving the supporting muscles. The main thing is that the back matter has already been turned in the right direction, says Palosaari, who finished 7th in the season’s WC.