That’s never happened before!
The “Sportsman of the Year” has been chosen since 1947. So far, only 1948 has seen no Olympic champion or at least one medal winner win the award in an Olympic year. And then, as a result of the Second World War, Germany was not allowed to take part in the Olympics again.
Germany’s winter athletes won twelve gold medals in February in Beijing, but on Sunday evening in the Kurhaus Baden-Baden none of them received the trophy for the winner as Germany’s best.
In the women’s category, the sports journalists surprisingly chose European sprint champion Gina Lückenkemper (26) in first place ahead of long jump world champion Malaika Mihambo (28). The men’s decathlon European champion Niklas Kaul (24) won, and the Europa League winner Eintracht Frankfurt won the teams.
Record Winter Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger (34/six times gold) was third, Vinzenz Geiger (25), who won gold in Nordic combined in Beijing, came second. Bobsleigh pilot Francesco Friedrich (32), successful in twos and fours, only finished fourth with his crew.
One can only speculate about the reasons. Beijing is a long time ago and was not a street sweeper due to the circumstances. There were also fewer journalists in China than usual at the Olympics. In Munich in the summer, on the other hand, the press tribune was full. What you experience yourself obviously leaves more of an impression. And that was Lückenkemper for most of my colleagues.
Lückenkemper: “If I’m healthy, a lot is possible and I think we saw that this summer.”
And further: “I have an incredibly good environment. Without the support from friends and family, none of this would have been possible.”
The European Championships were a mini-Olympics, sweeping a whole country away, 50 years after the Olympics at the same place. The fact that world champion Mihambo “only” came second behind European champion Lückenkemper may be due to the fact that hardly anyone saw her world championship gold jump in Eugene (USA) the night before weeks before and there were hardly any German journalists there either.
But the gigantic atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium carried everyone away: athletes, spectators, journalists. Lückenkemper’s gold evening, August 16th, was also the golden night of decathlete Niklas Kaul, who won the men’s classification.
Eintracht Frankfurt is named Team of the Year. Curious: During the laudatory speech for his favorite club, Formula 1 star Sebastian Vettel (35) is apparently so moved that he has to interrupt several times.
The award for Eintracht was probably the one with the longest run. From autumn 2021 onwards, the Hessians stormed through Europe and defeated Glasgow Rangers in the Europa League final in May 2022. A journey that also carried away people who rarely watch football.
Sportswoman of the Year
1. Gina Lückenkemper (athletics) 1358 votes
2. Malaika Mihambo (Athletics) 863
3. Natalie Geisenberger (tobogganing) 766
4. Denise Hermann-Wick (Biathlon) 594
5. Emma Hinze (wheel) 437
6. Konstanze Klosterhalfen (athletics) 352
7. Elisabeth Seitz (gymnastics) 322
8. Lea-Sophie Friedrich (Rad) 199
9. Ricarda Funk (Kanuslalom) 180
10. Anna-Lena Forster (Para Ski Alpine) 151
Sportsman of the year
1. Niklas Kaul (athletics) 1256
2. Vinzenz Geiger (Nordic Combined) 871
3. Florian Wellbrock (swimming) 761
4. Johannes Ludwig (tobogganing) 523
5. Richard Ringer (athletics) 359
6. Julian Weber (athletics) 257
7. Simon Geschke (bike) 252
8. Lukas Dauser (gymnastics) 249
9. Karl Geiger (ski jumping) 231
10. Christopher Grotheer (Skeleton) 225
team of the year
1. Eintracht Frankfurt (soccer) 975
2. 4 x 100 meters women (athletics) 895
3rd national team women (soccer) 828
4. Team Francesco Friedrich (Bob) 706
5th team sprint women (cross country) 545
6. SC Magdeburg (Handball) 371
7th track foursome women (bike) 254
8. Team Sprint Women (Bike) 190
9. 4 x 5 km women (cross country) 182
10. Men’s national team (table tennis) 176