Jakub Kot is a ski jumper loved by fans of ski jumping all over the world. Although this member of sport club AZS Zakopane arouses a huge sympathy, his sport achievements have satisfied neither him, nor his fans lately. We invite you to read an interview with Jakub which was conducted in Wisła during the FIS Cup competition.
SkokiPolska: You are not much of an optimist.
Jakub Kot: You can assume so from what I say, but I try to be more of a realist. When somebody says that I think pessimistically, I answer, that I really try to think realistically. If one jumps like me lately, then it is hard to be an optimist. I am more of a realist, I try to have an optimistic attitude, but it doesn’t make sense to convince yourself that something goes well, when it really goes wrong. When I feel that something goes wrong and I don’t have an inner energy anymore I don’t like it when people say then 'be an optimist all the time' and that 'it’s going to be better'. It doesn’t make sense to stick to a positive attitude when you keep failing all the time. That is why I am more of a realist than pessimist.
SkokiPolska: What is it about your life motto „Work so as if everything depended on you, pray so as if everything depended on God”? Do you pray before jumping, or maybe would you rather keep it for yourself?
Jakub Kot: When we worked with a psychologist he gave us such small pieces of paper and this motto is a sentence that I remembered the most from it. I think that this sentence is important for every sportsman. I believe in God and I regularly go to church, so in my case it is no like 'when in fear, God in dear, I really try to be in church every Sunday and I pray. Sometimes I talk with God, I ask Him to give me strength. Another thing is that God Himself won’t give you everything if you do nothing yourself. You have to work hard and if you have enough luck, then everything is going to be fine.
SkokiPolska: Do these conversations with God help you?
Jakub Kot: I think they do. Sometimes one needs to calm down, at least I need something like this. I need to talk with myself sometimes. I think that it just calms me down.
SkokiPolska: Do you go hiking to the mountains sometimes?
Jakub Kot: Unfortunately I don’t have time for it. In the past we used to hike with Maciek and our parents. We’ve- reached Rysy, Świnica [peaks in Tata Mountains, translator’s note]. Now I train a lot and even when I have a free Sunday hiking is not the best way to rest. However, if there is a possibility, I like to take walks or hike.
SkokiPolska: Talking about your family bonds, from what we can see, they are really strong.
Jakub Kot: Yes, when the whole family is together it is kind of a holiday for us. My grandmother always jokes that it is a real Holiday when we are all at home, because I am in a different training group, Maciek is in a different training group and our father has been often away too. We have always kind of been on a tour, however we all like the family atmosphere a lot. When we are all at home we like to go to the swimming pool together to relax or just sit at home with our grandparents. Because of our professions it is a real pleasure for us to spend some time with our family.
Jakub Kot: We have small arguments, but it is not like we quarrel all the time. Generally I think that we get on pretty well with each other. There is only a one year difference between us, so we do a lot together, e.g. train, play volleyball. We have similar interests and we both listen to similar music. I can count on Maciek’s support when it comes to ski jumping, especially now when he is jumping really well. He will always give me some tips. Of course it is not always that colourful. Sometimes we have different opinions on things. We have different characters, we have our arguments, but generally it is ok.
SkokiPolska: As the older brother, do you sometimes criticize Maciek and his behaviour towards others?
Jakub Kot: I see Maciek in a totally different light. Sometimes people tell me something about him, but I do not agree with their opinion. It looks totally different from the side. He has a different character than me, that’s for sure. He’s more reserved, doesn’t like to be and talk with people that much. When I talk with him at home I get a totally different impression, it all depends. I do not criticise him, because everyone is different and everyone has a right to be different. There are sometimes things which I think he should do differently, but it is his business. From what we can see he is good at what he is doing and lately he’s become even better.
SkokiPolska: It means that you are the older brother who sometimes defends him from the others.
Jakub Kot: It happens sometimes.
SkokiPolska: Who inspires you?
Jakub Kot: It all started with Adam Małysz. He inspired me to take up ski jumping. My friend, brother and me wanted to try it and it was Adam who was an inspiration. I think that he is still an idol, a role model I would like to follow. Although he ended his career, he took up another kind of sport which he also puts all his efforts in, his whole heart. This is worth praising, when you do something you should do it in 100%. I liked what some of the olympians said during the Olympic Games in London. They said, that you really have to work hard, that in their case it had been really bad but now the' are coming back with a medal. You have to fight till the end and you can never give up.
Jakub Kot: I really like Simon Ammann for his behaviour, for the kind of person he is. Unfortunately I haven’t had many possibilities to jump with him. Maciek has had jumped with him many times during the World Cup competitions. I had a chance to get to know Simon better during Adam’s benefit. I can also see how he behaves during the competitions, how he’s behaved towards Adam and other ski jumpers. He is always cheerful and friendly and I like him for that. To compete with him in a World Cup competition is a great pleasure and honour for every jumper who trains hard.
SkokiPolska: Referring to Adam Małysz and Simon Ammann, do you think that in sport a real
friendship is possible? Can the rivalry be put aside?
Jakub Kot: I think that it is possible. Everyone jumps for himself, even in the Polish group, we all want to perform as good as possible and there is no chance one is going to buckle under. However, also in this sport friendships happen, sometimes one jumper is more attached to another, like for example me and Maciek. We have always competed in Lotos Cup and other competitions and it is natural that each wanted to perform as good as possible, however, when Maciek was jumping I have always crossed my fingers for him. Even if he was going to win, well, at east one Kot has to be on the podium! I have always supported him and I always will. When it comes to Adam and Simon, they are high end sportsmen and each wanted to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games, however, I think that the fact that it was Simon not somebody else who won then with Adam made it a little bit less painful for him. Such friendships are possible and we really need them in sport.
SkokiPolska: Our last question, if you got a camera with which you could take a picture of one moment in your life to show it to your grandchildren, what moment would it be?
Jakub Kot: I hope, that such a moment is still to come. I will be then able to say, that this was this moment. If I will ever stand on a podium of a World Cup competition I will probably feel that this is the moment.
From Wisła, Agnieszka Sierotnik / translated by Marta Kalinowska