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Interview with national parasnowboard coach André Stötzer: “Unfortunately, there is no younger generation in sight” – Paralympics Zeitung

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At this point, the team reports to the Paralympics newspaper, a project of the Tagesspiegel and the German Social Accident Insurance. All the texts of our digital series can be found here. You can find all the latest news on our blog and on the social media channels of the Paralympics newspaper. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Our reader survey can be found here.

Mr. Stötzer, the Beijing Paralympic Games are coming to an end. How do you feel now?

facilitated. We have a great atmosphere. We completed the games and did so with reasonable success.

You are the national coach of the German para-snowboarders. Did your boys live up to expectations?

In terms of location, we fell a bit short of what we expected. We had placed our bets at least in the top 16 for Matthias Keller and in the top eight for Christian Schmiedt. Nonetheless, we saw solid performance from all three in both disciplines. Considering the preparation we had, it was definitely a good team effort.

Were you surprised by the performance of the competition?

Nothing was really unexpected. In fact, we saw the Chinese, who weren’t normally there, push down the ranks. Due to his great performance at the top, the international competition was excellent.

Due to the exclusion of the Russian delegation, among other things, the round of 16 was cancelled. That annoyed you?

If much. It was a real shame, especially since we only found out the day before. And it was very close. With one more person, the round of 16 would have taken place. Manuel Neß would have even reached the round of 16 and would be happy to be back on the court.

What lessons do you get from the games? What will change at home and what exactly can your children expect?

Now they can take a break for a few weeks. We then meet in the spring and discuss who is going and how, before creating the summer training plans to prepare for the upcoming winter season.

Are there trends already?

Christian Schmiedt wants to continue very safely. Matthias Keller tends to quit due to his age. He will have to take a look at Manuel Neß. But of course now we also depend a lot on young people. Unfortunately, there are no concrete candidates in sight, but I would be happy to continue promoting the sport with a young team.

The future of Manuel Ness in the German parasnowboard team is uncertain.Photo: Handout via REUTERS

His team this year was all male. Can you expect girl power on German snowboards as well?

Definitely wanted. We are open to any gender and any starting class. Let’s see how our measures to promote young talent continue to have an impact.

What competitions and sports goals come next?

In any case, we would like to go to the World Cup again next winter season. The World Championships await us in 2023. Of course, the next Paralympic Games are also a long-term goal. If we start the competitions here with even better preparation, I am very sure that our ranking will be better next time as well.

What concrete measures are being taken in the association?

Now we have a cooperation with Snowboard-Germany. This way we can make good use of your sports facilities and those of Snowboard Bayern. Therefore, our training should become even more professional in the coming months and years.

Matthias Keller will probably end his national team career after Beijing.Photo: IMAGO/Beautiful Sports

Is there also international exchange between nations?

Yes, in any case. For example, we do a lot with Switzerland and Austria. Each of us is a coach and it’s great to benefit from each other. There are also considerations for joining existing cooperations as an umbrella organization and thus concretizing existing approaches. Otherwise, of course, you listen a lot during games; for example, at the end we found out from one or another athlete at the top that they are now retiring. This is also exciting to follow and will certainly change something in the possibilities of our athletes.

It was the first Paralympic Winter Games you attended. How did you do with the general situation?

First to the Corona measures: actually I had imagined them worse. We were able to move freely around the town, so an exchange could definitely take place on the streets or in the seminar rooms. Still, it took a while for the Paralympic spirit to really take hold. That was only after the opening ceremony and the first test drives on the race tracks. But then the mood was great. Regarding the situation in Ukraine, the German delegation was very active. We also had a lot of talks with the Ukrainian team on site, especially after the Russian athletes left. All in all, they were definitely great games.

Is there something else there?sDo you want to get rid of?

Above all, young people are close to my heart at the moment. We want to promote sport among young people and we look forward to everyone who gets in touch with us.

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