Training Paratriathlon #wirbleibenzuhause

A force that unites people

16. April 2020 | Reading time: 5 Minuten

Will the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo take place in the summer of 2021? If so, at what price? Under which conditions? Will we compete in front of empty competition venues? Will everyone still have to keep their distance? Can this work - especially in sports that are not possible without physical contact?

Many athletes still have to qualify. Can the countries create the necessary conditions for athletes and associations? Are fair play and equal opportunities possible if there are different training conditions in each country in times of lockdown and uncertain future? If doping controls fail? Will sports facilities be able to open in time again? When can we start to think about competitions again? In the winter months, many athletes have to go to warmer regions to do training camps. When and to what extent will you be able to fly or travel again?

What I quickly realize is that the Olympic and Paralympic values ​​take on a completely new meaning in times like these.

It is difficult for me to find an answer to just one of these questions. Instead, more questions buzz through my head. What I quickly realize, however, is that the Olympic and Paralympic values ​​take on a completely new meaning in times like these.

Strive for excellence

We athletes want to win - no question. We train ambitiously and disciplined for our personal success. For me, the Paralympics play such a big role

  • because I have this unconditional will to win,
  • because I feel like competing with others,
  • because I play off my emotional strength,
  • and want to be among the best in the world.

But above all, I love the incredibly large variety of athletes and sports that I encounter at the Paralympics. But what is all that worth if people just struggle to stay healthy during a global pandemic? At the moment, top performance is achieved primarily by those who work in professions that keep the system running and keep people alive: doctors, nurses, truck drivers and many others. Your goal has just little to do with the will to win. Their drive and personal success is different, one that is extremely important for the global community.

Friendship and international understanding

Friendship and international understanding are Olympic values ​​that have repeatedly given cause since 1992 to call for a worldwide ceasefire during the Games. Already with the beginning of the modern Games in 1894 the dove of peace is a unifying symbol.

Over the past few weeks, I have seen how much friends around the world are suffering from the pandemic. How big is her fear of catching herself or her loved ones. I think it's good that Germany is helping extremely affected countries like Italy. Despite all the cuts, we still have one of the most stable healthcare systems in the world. Compete together against the invisible enemy. Only in this way - in the sense of international understanding - do we have a chance to contain this virus and maybe eventually defeat it.

Peaceful performance comparison and fairplay

In the race against the spread of the corona virus, one thing must be at the top in my opinion: the fight against the disease must not be a fight against each other. Foreclosure of individual countries is certainly correct - but it must be limited to closing the country's borders. In our heads we have to remain open to our fellow human beings.

We must put our selfishness aside in the spirit of fair play. From hamster purchases to theft of medical face masks to attempted poaching (or is it an attempt at bribery?) By researchers to secure the “rights” to a possible vaccine. Now we all have to pull together, remain patient and disciplined and try to take the growing coexistence, which I perceive despite all social distance, into the time after the pandemic.

And still: Despite all our solidarity, we should not completely subordinate our own interests and goals to the crisis situation. It is good and right to have personal goals. With these, everyone contributes their part to a functioning society. I go through the world much more consciously, I am more aware of people. Appreciation, solidarity and consideration should play a greater role in the future. We should find a new normal.


What role do the Olympic and Paralympic games play there?

I think it's a big one - but less in financial terms or in terms of athletic success and fame. The Olympic and Paralympic Games have the power to unite people. They are a common goal of many athletes around the world. They are simply gigantic and the participation is an indescribable feeling for me! But just as indescribable the feeling is of not being alone despite the isolation. We should not lose sight of our sporting goal, but we should first concentrate on another goals: In line with the Olympic values, we should contribute through our own behavior that we stay healthy, help our fellow human beings and act in solidarity. International understanding and fair play can take place primarily in our own community, in our own city and in each of us.

And when the time comes, we can think about the Olympic and Paralympic Games again. Because at the moment I can't imagine that they can really take place in 2021 as we know them. But maybe the new date in the coming year should simply convey hope - a goal for which it is worth accepting the current restrictions. The Olympic fire is burning. Can it convey the positive values ​​that we has always attributed to this element even in times when so many people in the world are suffering and dying?

Professional triathlete
Live your dream - no limits! That is the motto of paratriathlete Christiane Reppe. Christiane is a real power woman and is one of the most successful German top athletes. Anyone who gets to know Christiane will quickly notice that blowing the gloom doesn’t fit in with this good-humored bundle of energy, whose urge to move seems to know no bounds. It is therefore not surprising that she can already look back on a steep career at the age of 31. Together with her colleagues from the German Paratriathlon team, she is currently preparing to participate in the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020. At TIME2TRI she reports on her trip.

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