Should they grieve now over the missed first place or should they be cheering because of the two podium places?
Nobody at the German Ski Federation ( Deutscher Skiverband = DSV) is able to answer this question accurately at the moment, since they are still swaying back and forth between their feelings.
But if you take a closer look at the placings of the German jumpers at this year's Four Hills Tournament, you can quickly notice the best result for the DSV jumpers since the winter of 1990/1991, the first season after reunification. At that time Jens Weißflog could take the overall victory and Dieter Thoma ended up in third place.
This year there was no overall victory to celebrate, but then the second and third place in the final standings. Markus Eisenbichler and Stephan Leyhe had both made it surprisingly to the podium and were both more than satisfied with their results.
Unfortunately, Eisenbichler missed the big jump. Even if the overall winner Ryoyu Kobayashi showed an outstanding performance, with fewer mistakes of his own the German jumper could have really challenged the Japanese for victory. Especially in Innsbruck when Eisenbichler didn't have his best day, so that his deficit, which had been very close before, increased considerably.
Sunshine and shadow came therefore very close together for the German team during this four-hill tournament, although after finishing the four stations they seemed to bask in the glamour of their quite respectable overall ranking.
The man behind
The departing national coach Werner Schuster, who in recent years had brought the German jumpers back to the top also played a large part in the success of the DSV team.
Schuster, who will probably switch to the Austrian Skiing team, can after 11 years at the DSV look back on a very successful time.
Now the German ski jumping is well positioned for the rest of the season and can look forward to the World Championships starting in February in Seefeld, Austria, feeling both excited and enthusiastic.
You can see there is no reason to worry about the immediate future of the German ski-jumping team and even the high-flyer of the season so far, the Japanese Kobayashi, is not unbeatable. The interesting thing about ski jumping in recent years is the diversity, few athletes are constantly jumping to the top and also the Four Hills Tournament was dominated by 3 different jumpers in the last 3 years. Some of them had to fight against a sudden loss of form in the following season.
Therefore, this fascinating discipline will remain exciting throughout the season, even though Kobayashi has already managed to jump to a more than decent lead in the World Cup standings.
But at the latest at the coming world championship the pack will be shuffled again and maybe all of a sudden some other athlete will jump directly into the spotlight. And who knows, it could be one of the German eagles who is going to stay in the air the longest and comes down sailing into the valley the farthest.
I am sure it will be a great show which I hope to be able to witness someday myself, standing right in front of the ski-jumping hill.