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Tuesday, March 8
Despite the adverse circumstances on site, the atmosphere seems to be quite good. The D-Team seems to be doing well too, at least that’s what I heard in interviews. I am particularly happy about Linn Kazmaier’s silver medal: she is here for the first time at the age of 15 and then she is immediately a big success. And what makes me extremely happy outside of Team D is that the Ukrainian athletes are there and that they can exhibit the sports performance that they have been training for so long.
I was very excited about the Anna-Lena Forster super combined race. How she finished fourth in the first race and then she did this crazy slalom race, that was really amazing! Anja Wicker’s bronze medal in biathlon was also great, because she managed to get it despite shooting errors in the cross-country ski race.
There have been many special moments in these Paralympic Games. For me personally, Andrew Parsons’ speech at the opening ceremony was significant. The moment when he made this incredibly loud statement at the end and he yelled “Peace”. Together with the arrival of the Ukrainians it was a very special moment. This also includes the fact that our athletes have removed their caps upon entering. Seeing so many athletes come without caps, I think this level of solidarity is great.
I look forward to all that is to come: great sport and great achievements. As a curling player, what annoys me a bit is that you don’t really notice anything about curling. Only a few games will be shown, I can see the results online.
Normally I would have sat in the office today and been at curling practice tonight. But since I am now taking a mandatory break, I have time to follow the games more closely. That definitely makes everything easier.
Thursday March 10
What I remember from the last few days is definitely the hot phase of curling. That’s where my focus is. I was surprised that in the end everything went well and that Slovakia, a team that I did not expect, reached the semi-finals. The other semi-final teams were more anticipated. The Swedes were my secret favourites, they have developed very well in recent years. The Chinese are reigning world champions and I also had the Canadians among my immediate favourites. My advice is: in the final it’s Canada against Sweden.
I noticed that one of the skiers fell badly, but luckily he was not seriously injured. The Grisus, Christoph Glotzner. Alpine women, including monoskier Anna-Lena Forster, are yet to come. You get a little more excited when you monoski like me. Of course you try to learn something from the professionals. But unfortunately it is like this: it looks completely different when you are sitting on it.
Watching the Paralympics is always fun. What always fascinates me is when visually impaired people go down the mountain on alpine skis. And that people with the most diverse deficiencies, also in terms of severity, reach such sporting achievements. And you can see how happy that makes them. This is how it should be.
There does not necessarily have to be more medals for the German team. It is about the athletes being satisfied with the performance they were able to achieve. Even if it’s a stupid fourth place, the wooden medal. But the important thing is that you get up to date with young people, that you promote work with young people. I don’t think there is any area of winter sports that doesn’t have a problem with young talent. If other nations have already managed to integrate many young people and given them a stage and opportunity in these Paralympic Games, then I think it’s good.
saturday march 12
So many things happened in the last two days, very exciting. The curling final, Sweden against China, was a great match. It could have gone either way at first. At the crucial moment, just after the break, the Swedes unfortunately made more mistakes. You can’t afford that in a game against the Chinese. I would have liked to be there, it’s a completely different atmosphere. What I take away from this competition: that among professionals, anyone can beat anyone.
I am very happy for Anna-Lena Forster. I think it’s good that she was able to perform magnificently in her parade discipline. Simply a mega achievement. I take my hat off to her. She had a bit of slack in the middle of her. I think it’s great how she motivated herself again. One can only congratulate Andrea Rothfuss and her medal in the fifth games. I think you put a lot of pressure on yourself if you want to win a medal in these games as well. The fact that 15-year-old Linn Kazmaier won gold is one example. I think that is an encouragement for many other young people.
I’m not necessarily speculating about another medal tomorrow on the last day of the competition. But I hope athletes can say, “I did my best.” In little less than seven days, all the competitions are squeezed. That is difficult for athletes, without rest.
I expect better circumstances from the upcoming games than those that prevailed in China. They eclipsed the sport. And I hope that we will be there again and that we will see the German sledge hockey players. And that until then, the Paralympic D Team will continue to grow. Beijing’s greatest hits must come out as a message. I think the general situation in Cortina will be different. Because this is a winter sports complex. I think the Olympic and Paralympic feeling will be there again.