10 questions with Kristjan Ilves

1. Why did you choose Nordic Combined?
It all started because of my father, who was a nordic combined coach in my home town Elva. Once I went along with my father to the training and I saw the older kids jumping. It seemed so cool that I wanted to try it by myself and since then I’ve found my true passion.
2. At what age did you start your career and where it all began?
I did my first jumps at the age of four. We were at ski jumping hill in Elva and my dad gave me a little slalom skis and after few exercises he allowed me to go on a 8 meter jump. My father told me later that I didn’t fall my first jump, but I did crash the following tree jumps, so it was a quite rough start for me.
3. Who were you childhood role models?
I’ve always admired my father for all the work he does and have done. Since I was a child I’ve always looked up to him and listened everything he has said to me. In addition to that I can say my all-time favourite athlete is 4 times Olympic champion Simon Ammann, who is such a great sportsman and cool character.
4. What do you like the most about that sport?
I like nordic combined because it’s very challenging sport that requires many abilities. In my opinion, to become a great athlete in this discipline you have to be very talented and hard-working. Furthermore, it’s unique sport where you can fly like a bird between the sky and the ground.
5. What is your best achievements so far?
My best results in World Cup are 2nd and 4th place in Hakuba and I finished in 16th place at the Olympics in Pyeongchang 2018.
6. What is your future goals in sport?
I’ve always set a high goals in my life, especially in sport. I believe as an athlete you have to be ambitious and have a big dreams. At the moment, the sport is the most important thing in my life and I’m definitely giving 100% of myself everyday to be the best athlete in nordic combined.
7.Is it difficult to become a top athlete in tiny country as Estonia?
Definitely it’s not the easiest mission, but I suppose it has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it’s obvious that great countries have bigger budget and more opportunities to reach the top. On the other hand, if you are talented, strong willed and you’re able to make the others believing in you, it’s more likely to have your own supporters and I believe
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Mostly I like to just relax and watch some historical documentaries, but recently I’ve found a new activity– disc golf, it’s such a cool game to play with your friends in long summer evenings.
9. What is your favourite food?
I basically eat everything. In February I visited Japan and at this point I’m a huge fan of Asian food.
10. What kind of music do you listen?
I’m actually listening different kind of music– depends on the mood, but last few years hip hop have taken the top spot of my playlist.