‘A lot still needs to happen so that we can create sustainable, inclusive games’

Ninia LaGrande has been presenting DEINE IDEEN. DEINE SPIELE. DER PODCAST together with Felix Loch since March. In this interview, we talk to the presenter, author, podcaster, speaker and actress about her enthusiasm for the Olympics, her daily motivation and her wish for a German Olympic bid.

Portrait photo of Ninia LaGrande
Ninia LaGrande in her hometown of Hanover © Anna Peschke / Linden Shots

You have been hosting the DEINE IDEEN. DEINE SPIELE. podcast together with Felix Loch YOUR GAMES. Why did you decide to do this and what would you like to share with the listeners?

I decided to do the podcast because I find it exciting to think about whether there should be another Olympic and Paralympic Games here in Germany and because I’m looking forward to the many different dialogue partners. We’re talking to a super diverse range of people from the world of sport, but also from society, and I’m looking forward to the input and the discussions we’ll have with each other. Besides, a double moderation is always more fun than when you are alone.

Among other things, you actively campaign for feminist and inclusive issues and more equal opportunities. What motivates you to get involved in these issues every day?

I will stay motivated on these topics until we have actually got to where we want to be. In other words, this utopian idea that all people actually have equal rights and equal opportunities. I’m afraid it’s going to take a while, so I just have to be motivated every day.

Is sport a role model in terms of these issues or do you still see room for improvement here in particular?

Sport can definitely be a role model when it comes to inclusive and feminist issues. But especially when we talk about inclusion, we also have to talk about the fact that the Paralympic Games, for example, are still the little sister of the Olympic Games, so they are still lagging behind and that many sports facilities, many stadiums, many places where you can do sport are simply not yet inclusive. We still have a long way to go before we reach a point where everyone can play sport together on an equal footing.

What personal memories do you associate with the Olympics?

I have many memories of the Olympics. I’ve never been there, but we’ve already heard on the podcast that this is a typical memory: you sit in front of the TV with your parents or grandparents and watch the Olympic Games. My personal moment was at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. There was the title song ‘Limelight’ by Bonnie Tyler. I thought it was so great that I became a real Olympics fan that year. I also had a watch with the Olympic rings, a T-shirt and all sorts of things. This is how my enthusiasm for the Olympic and Paralympic Games was awakened.

In your opinion, what should definitely be taken into account in a bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games?

When bidding for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it should really be taken into account that we are sustainable and that we are inclusive. This also means that we are inclusive for athletes, but also for visitors. If you look at the preparations for the EURO 2024 in Germany right now, many stadiums are simply not yet prepared for the fact that people with disabilities also want to watch this sport. A lot still needs to happen for us to be able to organise sustainable, inclusive games here in Germany. And that’s why we’re talking about it.

YOUR IDEAS. YOUR GAMES. THE PODCAST with Ninia LaGrande and Felix Loch appears once a month wherever podcasts are available:

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