From Rimmels to Rio. If someone had told us in January 2007 a story about two runners who have started running at the age of 17 and who will take part nine years later at the Olympic Games and run the marathon for Germany, we would have laughed and asked if we can buy this movie. Sounds like a great story of success. We have always been crazy about sports but had nothing to do with competitive sports.
In February 2007 we started running because of a speech of Joey Kelly. We really enjoyed running and had lots of fun but no intensions to do it more structured with a training plan and a coach. All this changed in autumn 2007 when a coach from Kassel came up to us after we had won a half marathon in Bad Hersfeld. Or to be more precise, he sent some running guys from the neighbourhood to Rimmels to integrate us in their training group. One of these runners was Julian Flügel who is also going to compete in Rio at the Olympic Games in marathon.
The Olympic Games in Beijing in summer 2008 we have watched with a completely different eye on it. As spectators in front of the TV, as fans and not as serious athletes. The fascination of the Olympic Games was already there, the dream of becoming an Olympian rose the following years. The hour of birth of our dream Rio is the 27th July 2012, the day of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London. Adidas invited us in the stadium after Anna had missed the national standard just about 14s and not hadn’t been nominated. We listened to Paul McCartney who played his song Hey Jude and the complete stadium started singing. We also did. We were electrified and started dreaming. Overwhelmed with emotion and impressions we watched the different countries marching in. And then the German team, hockey player Natascha Keller carried the flag, what a great feeling this must be to walk in this stadium. We want to feel this, too. Not some day but in 2016. This is the year of the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and we wanted to run there together the marathon for Germany.
Now, four years later, we qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio. There are three starting slots for women and we have two of them. We are so proud, happy and full of joy. Our big dream has come true. After the nomination of the marathon team we got the information that the federation plans to fly on 10th of August to Rio. The marathon is on 14th of August and on the 5th of August there is already the opening ceremony. They tell us that this would be the best option for the athletes. This would mean that we don’t take part at the opening ceremony and that we are not able to march in the stadium. The reasons are unclear and we don’t understand them. Why don’t they ask us, the athletes, what we think is the best option? We have been already last year in Rio at the city marathon to check the climatic conditions there.
We really want to take part at the opening ceremony. We talked to the hockey player Moritz Fürste, double Olympic champion in Beijing 2008 and London 2012. He told us that the opening ceremony is a huge motivation that gives so much energy and power for the whole tournament. This won’t change at his third Games. For us the Olympic Games are the big dream and the opening ceremony and walking in the stadium with the German team is one part of it. That’s one of the reasons why we put much effort in to fly already on the 4th of August to Rio and be able to follow the German flag on the 5th of August in the stadium in Rio.
Moreover we have already been in Rio for the city marathon last year to know how it feels running under these climatic conditions. That’s a completely different feeling of running, the body transpires, so much more than you would do with 22-25° in Germany. That’s the reason why our body needs some days to adapt to the climatic conditions in Rio. In addition there is a time shift of five hours. For us the decision was definite and last week we got the confirmation of our flights. On Thursday evening, 4th of August we board in Frankfurt and get into the LH501 with the destination Rio. Rio became in the last four years the synonym of our dream as athletes and now this dream becomes reality. We are ready and full of excitement to be part of the biggest sports event of the world.