“The future is uncertain. The financial situation isn’t good, we have to see what solutions there could be. Otherwise, our sport will just be a very expensive hobby,” German skaters are facing funding problems
Translation of the article about German skaters facing financial problems.
The German figure skating team had a better performance than expected at the World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan. However, financial difficulties within the German Skating Union worry the athletes. Nicole Schott, a seven-time German champion whose seventh place finish was the best result by a German female single skater at the World Championships in 27 years, is concerned about her future career due to the financial issues.
“The future is uncertain. The financial situation of the association is not good, we have to see what solutions there could be. Otherwise, our sport will just be a very expensive hobby,” said the 26-year-old skater worriedly.
At the German Skating Union (DEU), they have been waiting for more than a year for a decision from the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the case of last year’s European figure skating champion Kamila Valieva, who is suspected of doping and thus indirectly for a financial boost.
If the skater were banned, the sporting victory of the Russian team in the Olympic team competition in Beijing would also be worthless. The medals would go to the USA, Japan, and Canada, and the German team would move up to eighth place and could hope for additional state funding afterwards.
This would also be very convenient for the German pairs champions Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel, who have been training in the Italian city of Bergamo since leaving the Olympic training center in Berlin last year.
With some sporting success, but the duo has since struggled with finances. “It is almost impossible for us to pay for everything privately,” Kunkel described the situation. This led, for example, to the 23-year-old choosing cheap painkillers over more expensive physiotherapy and competing with his partner in poor health at the Saitama Super Arena for the short program and free skate.
As it is unclear when the CAS will decide in the “Valieva case” and whether the case might even end up in a regular court, the DEU wants to consolidate its financial resources in the medium term and focus more on pair skating and ice dance. DEU Sports Director Claudia Pfeifer said: “We face incredible international competition in men’s and women’s skating.”
This was also felt by German champion Nikita Starostin, who came in 19th place in the men’s competition. The German ice dance champions Jennifer Janse van Rensburg and Benjamin Steffan from Oberstdorf came in 15th place in their debut at the world championships.
Mai Mihara: “I didn’t see Yelim Kim’s perfect performance, but I saw her fist pump and knew her score was really good, so I was really happy for her and it also gave me a lot of power to skate.”