By the time the expert talk on competitive sports was over, a clear conclusion had been reached: Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Germany would give competitive sports the tailwind they need to be successful in the long term.
Frankfurt, 16 August 2023 – The second talk of the “YOUR IDEAS. YOUR GAMES.” dialog initiative brought three Olympic victories, more than 20 world championship titles, and five different perspectives on competitive sports in Germany together yesterday.
Anke Feller addressed a number of fundamental issues, including the significance of making it to the Olympic and Paralympic Games – the ultimate goal for athletes. Emma Malewski, European champion on the balance beam, explained: “In the midst of even the most grueling training periods, my long-term goal as an athlete is to compete in the Olympics. That dream gives me the strength to persevere.” DOSB Vice President Miriam Welte, an Olympic champion herself, underscored the importance of hosting the Olympic Games in one’s own country: “Being able to experience the Games in their own country would be an invaluable opportunity for German athletes.” The fact that hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Germany would breathe new life into competitive sports was a point of consensus among the experts.
The experts also discussed the significance of role models in sports and warned against the gradual abandonment of the performance principle when it comes to children and young people. Comparatively speaking, the impact on competitiveness in the international arena would be enormous. Marion Peters, Para Athletics National Coach, reported: “The athletes that I coach have grown as a result of their victories, but more importantly, as a result of their defeats. Competitive sports are a continuous learning process.” Olympic canoeing champion Ronald Rauhe pointed out that those who expect performance must also encourage it and, above all, demand it. Competitive sports must be made more attractive through the creation of new incentives.
Here are a some of the key statements that were made by the experts:
Josef Buchner, Sports Director Ski Jumping / Nordic Combined
“Hosting the Olympic Games in Germany would be an excellent way to create role models and idols. However, a few conditions must be met: Sports must be tangible and available to everyone. No walls should be put up when it comes to sports.”
“A prospective Olympic bid would give us the opportunity and the power to make a big difference in both the youth and professional sports sectors.”
Emma Malewski, European Gymnastics Champion
“Whenever training is tough and things don’t go as planned, I think about my goal of competing in the Olympics one day. That’s what keeps me going.”
“The European Championships in Munich were incredible – that moment was something that I could share with family, friends, and fans. I would love to be able to experience something like that again.”
Marion Peters, Para Athletics National Coach
“Our goal is to generate more interest in the Sports Association for the Disabled. Hosting the Paralympics in our own country can be a major driver in that regard.”
“The time has come for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, hosted in our own country, to generate the momentum we need in competitive sports.”
“Competitive sports are a continuous learning process. We learn from our victories, but, more importantly, we learn from our defeats. How will that continue to be possible if we gradually abolish the performance principle in sport?”
Ronald Rauhe, Olympic Canoeing Champion
“The competitive sports system is fragile. All I can say in response to the idea of abolishing the performance principle in sport is that it will be difficult for us to continue to compete with the best athletes in the world. We encourage performance by demanding it as well.”
“The Olympic Games have the power to inspire and shape entire generations.”
“When it comes to pursuing competitive sports in Germany, the hurdle has become more and more difficult to overcome. That’s why we need to roll out new incentives, such as dual careers.”
Miriam Welte, DOSB Vice President
“My dreams came true in London and Rio. Being able to experience the Games in their own country would be an invaluable opportunity for German athletes.”
“The competitive spirit must be felt from the bottom to the top. How else can we expect young people to learn how to deal with the pressure of competition?”
The entire “YOUR JOURNEY. YOUR DREAMS. YOUR GAMES” talk can be found at: https://deine-spiele.de/deine-ideen/fachtalks/.
The Next Expert Talk: YOUR CRITIQUES. YOUR IDEAS. YOUR GAMES.
The series of expert talks will continue at 7:00 PM next Tuesday, 29 August.
The IOC and international sports policy will be the topic of the day. Guests will include:
- Felix Loch – Olympic Luge Champion
- Thomas Konietzko – President of the International Canoe Federation
- Juliane Seifert – State Secretary, Federal Ministry of the Interior and Home Affairs
- Thomas Weikert – DOSB President
- Prof. Dr. Dr. Patricia Wiater – Chair of Human Rights at Friedrich-Alexander University
- One Athletes Germany e.V. representative