May 19, 2022


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Germany’s Toboggan Nation: Goldsmiths with Fear of the Future

The best record achieved by the German bobsleigh team at the Olympic Games so far was no coincidence. It is the result of talent exploration, analytical work, and technology partners.

beijing winter games

Yanqing (dpa) – After the historic medal rush at Yanking, two things have taken hold in the German bobsleigh coach’s emotional world. “Comfort and joy,” said Norbert Loch. Joy concept.

Relief may seem strange after an unprecedented Olympic dominance with four gold and two silver medals. But at the Winter Games in China, the pressure was huge and German originality had to pay off. “Success is expected of us. “It does not make it easier,” said Olympic champion Johannes Ludwig.

For the Germans, the renewed influx of gold is simply what we might call the return on investment in business. In an international comparison, Germany offers skiers a paradise, so to speak. There are four artificial ice rinks in this country, of which the ice track in Oberhof is intended exclusively for tobogganing. The track in Königssee, home to gold medal winners Natalie Geisenberger, Tobias Wendell and Tobias Arlt, cannot be used after storm damage.

A ‘regular’ advantage over the competition

“Especially in tobogganing, we have two outstanding sports facilities,” Thomas Schwab, CEO and sporting director of the German bobsleigh and bobsleigh federation, told dpa. “Of course, that’s a huge advantage we already have in terms of the system over the competition.”

The advantage of this system with its results, that is, medals collectively in major events, nourishes the country of Germany, as in the case of table tennis in China. Germany alone has recorded 38 Olympic victories since the 1964 Innsbruck Games. Success inspires young people with mentoring idols. In China, the next generation was already there with silver medalist Anna Pereter, world champion Julia Tobitz and sixth individualist Max Langenhan. Even ten-year-old skater talents take turns on four German runs, learn routing points and master sledding in the required ice channels.

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In addition, there is a strength in the battle of materials that the Austrians can at best keep up with thanks to German coach Rene Friedl. First of all, the Berlin Institute for Sports Equipment Research and Development (FES). “In the past two years, together with FES and our technology partner BMW, we’ve already taken another step forward,” said Schwab. In addition to tinkering with the sled, where skating icon George Huckle brings his experience, the next level has also been reached on PC. “We worked more on a hypothetical level with the materials.”

The World Federation wants to break German hegemony

On this point, the world association FIL is trying to break German hegemony. Standard slide plans are becoming more realistic, only the rails should be freely selectable. The technical leader of the Germans should melt faster than soft ice cream at 30 degrees in the shade. The consequences could be dire for the German Federation, because it justifies the huge investments above all with success.

It is therefore not surprising that Loch and the training group Sonnenschein vom Königssee used the glimmer of their recent success to drum up publicity to rebuild their course. The oldest ice skating rink in the world was destroyed by a storm in the upper region at the start of the skating in July.

“It is an important training center, especially for the young people who are being developed there. That is why we must try to get the micro process back on track as soon as possible,” said Schwab, who sees the basis of successes in China above all in Bavaria: This is a clear sign that the majority of medals come from this federal base and we need the track in Königssee, especially in the bobsleigh area, but also for bobsleigh and skeleton.”

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Strong TV ratings of successes should also be a sufficient argument. Sometimes more than five million viewers cheered on TV. “The feedback from home has been overwhelming, I’ve had a lot of positive news, it’s good for our team,” Geisenberger said. “We don’t complain about TV times, BSD is constantly introducing three sports. You also have to see that all sports are developing more and more disciplines and everyone wants to be on TV with them. And Schwab emphasized that TV day is finally over.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220211-99-77905 / 2