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This year's winter sports season is edging closer, but no snow was needed when the Summer Grand Prix 2017 took place in enchanting Oberstdorf. The world elite in Nordic Combined gathered to compete in the Bavarian winter sports resort.
Nordic Combined in the summer? Yes in German Oberstdorf, certainly. Summer Grand Prix is a Nordic Combined competition for the world’s best athletes without a snowflake in sight. The event is not a glorified training session but is arranged by the International Ski Federation (FIS). Winning is not only proof of being up to par for the coming season, there is also a lot of prestige at stake.
Summer Grand Prix is like any other contest in Nordic Combined. It begins with ski jumping, perhaps the most famous part of the Oberstdorf resort. In the winter it hosts the first contest in the Four Hills Tournament, a large festival where the ski jumpers compete in four hills during an intense week. This is followed by skiing, in this case on roller skis through the streets.
Axelent sponsors Johannes Rydzek, four-time gold medalist at the World championships 2017 in Lahti, Finland. In front of his home fans he showed that his form is on the up heading into the winter season with a second and ninth place in the two competitions.
Photo: Johannes Rydzek (left) receives his runners up price.