It’s mom’s fault, of course! “When I was in primary school, she forgot to sign me up for Alpine ski training,” recalls Jasmina Kohler with a laugh. “By that time there was only space in the cross-country skiing courses.” What an inauspicious start to what would turn out to be an otherwise successful career in Nordic winter sports! Just one year later, Jasmina from Schoppernau had already become a member of the Bregenzerwald cross-country skiing squad. She enjoyed the Nordic discipline so much that she decided to stick with it. The transition to competitive sports was smooth: “I competed, my training load increased, and at some stage high-level competitions became a natural part of my life.”
At the age of just 15, Jasmina was already a successful biathlete who practiced jumping from homemade ski jumps with her coach – on narrow cross-country skis! “For fun, I once trained with the Nordic Combined squad and jumped down a real ski jump. A short time later, I switched.” In 2018, her first time competing, Jasmina became the Vorarlberg State Champion in Nordic Combined. Throughout Austria, she has become one of just a handful of pioneers of a sport that was only recognised by the FIS in 2014. But Jasmina Kohler isn’t just a pioneer in sports: In 2018, she was one of the first participants in the “Elite Sports and Teaching” pilot project from the Olympiazentrum Vorarlberg. This programme allows young people to combine competitive sports with an apprenticeship after secondary school. This form of schooling takes a year longer and allows time for training and competitions.