Peking. Love will have to wait. The plan was so beautiful – and so romantic: reunion in the sign of the rings. But Anna Seidel, Germany’s best short tracker, is alone at the Winter Olympics. Her friend, professional ice hockey player Moritz Seider, has to play in the NHL with his Detroit Red Wings. The 23-year-old from Dresden and her boyfriend, who is three years younger, have not seen each other for seven tough months. “I don’t know how we’re going to manage it either. We’re on the phone a lot, actually almost three times a day,” she says in Beijing.
Despite her young age, Anna Seidel is at the Winter Games for the third time. She made her debut in Sochi in 2014 when she was just 15 years old. At this point in time she is an exceptional talent in a sport that takes place in Germany on the outer edge of public perception, and since then she has not only given a face to it through her successes. Pictures from photoshoots on her homepage and on her Instagram account show why.
Attention to shorttrack is now also benefiting from the fact that it has been in a relationship with the young ice hockey star for some time as its figurehead. The two skid cracks got to know each other when Seider was still playing at EHC Erfurt, which he left for Mannheim in 2015. What started as a writing friendship gradually grew closer together. “Then it all developed a bit like that, we all got older,” she says in retrospect.
Seidel and Seider live their long-distance Dresden-Detroit relationship, including a six-hour time difference, with astonishing composure. “We know it’s not forever,” says the short track ace. Corona and her Olympic ambitions have put all reunion plans on hold this winter season. “It wouldn’t have been worth flying over there for three days. You have to be professional and say: That’s not the best regeneration. So it’s seven months,” she says.
Thanks to her professional attitude, Anna Seidel also made it to Beijing. That was by no means certain after she broke her tibia and fibula in a training accident in March 2021. She is still handicapped by the consequences. “I haven’t been able to jog since the injury. I think I’m still limping a bit. It’s almost better on the ice than on land,” says the Dresdener. The metal plate on both bones rubs and causes pain. “Now I can stand it.” The foreign bodies should only be removed after this season. “Then hopefully things will go back to normal.”
Despite the handicap, the two-time European Championship runner-up is ambitious in her competition. On Wednesday, at the end of the short track competitions, she starts over 1500 meters. “The Olympics always have their own rules and laws. There were so many falls, so many favorites were thrown out. Everyone is nervous. My goal is to make it to the semi-finals in any case. Anything is possible in short track,” she emphasizes. Moritz Seider, who is missing the NHL Olympia schedule due to the corona-related extension to Beijing time, can watch the races at breakfast time. On February 16 he has no play.
Although all attention is currently focused on her Olympic start, Anna Seidel is looking forward to her longing month of March. From the 18th to the 20th the World Championships will take place in Montreal, Canada. And from there she wants to fly a good hour and a half in a southeasterly direction to Detroit to finally hug her loved one. “Now we have six weeks left.” As a sports soldier, she still has to go back to Germany for a Bundeswehr course. “But until then I’ll savor it first. We have to catch up a bit, I think,” says Anna Seidel with a wink.