Tim Dieck: “Our priority was to compete for Germany. However, after months of discussions, the federation remained too vague in financial terms, so we entered negotiations with the Spanish federation.”
Tim Dieck about his decision to represent Spain skating with Olivia Smart.
A life of a professional ice dancer is costly and can lead to some absurd episodes. Tim Dieck, for instance, had originally intended to continue competing for Germany. However, he did not receive financial support here.
In this complex situation, one can quickly lose track: Tim Dieck (27) was born in Dortmund and is Germany’s top ice dancer. After the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Dieck parted ways with his German partner Katharina Müller (27) and teamed up Olivia Smart (26) from England, who competes for Spain.
Smart initially wanted to switch to the German federation because of Dieck. Since this year, the best German ice dancer has been training with Smart in Montreal, Canada. It was there that they decided to represent Spain. This decision was made because the German Figure Skating Federation (DEU) remained too vague in terms of financial support.
“Our priority was clearly to compete for Germany. However, after months of discussions, the DEU remained too vague in financial terms, so we reluctantly entered negotiations with the Spanish federation,” explained Dieck.
The ‘world’s best ice dance school’ is located in Montreal. With training in Canada and travel to competitions, the costs per season amount to up to 100,000 euros. ‘The offer from the German Figure Skating Federation (DEU) would not have covered even half of the expenses, and we would have had to pay for our own travel,’ says Dieck, who defends DEU President Andreas Wagner. ‘He showed great understanding in the discussions.’ Spain will now cover all costs in full.
Wagner describes Dieck’s switch as a ‘great loss. We regret very much that we couldn’t keep him, but financially, our hands were tied.’ Dieck, in turn, would have liked more appreciation. ‘I had a different assessment of my standing in the DEU. I had to take this step.’
In Montreal, Dieck has brought his old Spanish textbooks with him, and in August, the new team will have their first test competition. Dieck says, ‘I can’t even imagine it yet, when I walk in for the first time with the Spanish flag on my chest. But I’m looking forward to it. I don’t have to memorize the anthem. It’s instrumental.’
Dieck and Smart are only a couple on the ice. ‘We are both not the type of people to mix personal and professional life. But we are also both good actors. On the ice, we play the perfect pair!'”
Kamila Valieva: “Winning the team Olympic gold is a big responsibility because you’re not only performing for yourself but also for the team. It’s an incredible pride and happiness that we succeeded.”