Having a longer and, above all, undisturbed conversation with the head of the ski jumping hill at Switzerland's largest ski jumping facility these days is almost an impossibility. Bini Amstutz is under power. If he is not giving information on the often hot mobile device, a questioning voice is sure to come up on the radio and expect an immediate answer. How Bini Amstutz can remain calm in this situation, at least outwardly, is probably in keeping with his nature. He doesn't even ask himself whether what he is doing is healthy. The Engelberg hill manager and his team are solely focused on presenting the world's best ski jumpers with a perfectly prepared Titlis hill during their only guest appearance in Switzerland as part of the World Cup.
The head of the ski jump, that's the central figure in the whole organising committee Engelberger Weltcup-Veranstaltung. He is the linchpin when it comes to the preparation of the Titlis ski jump, which was completely rebuilt two years ago. Decisions on which work steps to take next often have to be made intuitively and by instinct. One of his predecessors once took the time to write down all the major and minor tasks on a piece of paper and came up with the proud number of over 90 very different tasks. This 90-point programme has lost none of its validity to this day.
Bini Amstutz's mobile device also has a built-in pedometer. However, he has never consulted it on an evening. But he probably covers a few kilometres in a day between the run-up and the run-out. 133.70 metres of altitude per gear included. Coordinating the work, organising what's missing and often helping out at the same time. A generalist wouldn't stand a chance. An all-rounder is needed as a ski jump manager. And he should also be communicative. A direct language is cultivated within the ski jump team. A certain diplomacy is required when dealing with the media. As a trained mountain guide, Bini Amstutz moves safely and with concentration on this fine line. Even when a working day lasts much longer than the usual 8.5 hours in office jobs. The tension, as Bini Amstutz knows from the experience she has gained in recent years, will only ease on Sunday when the last competitor has swung off in the run-out. But until then, there are still a few points that have to be worked through according to his programme.
Beat Christen worked as an editor for a newspaper for almost two decades and is now responsible for coordinating the anniversary "900 Years of Engelberg Monastery". He has a wide range of interests and is involved in many different areas in Engelberg. For example, he was media director of the Ski Jumping World Cup event in Engelberg for 20 years. He has published the Engelberg ski jumping history in the book "Von Null auf Hundert".
Pictures: Beat Christen