The YOG team are no strangers to living life on the edge, but throwing ourselves down an icy race track to experience speeds of up to 140kmh and the same g-force as Formula 1 drivers with just a small sled between us and the slippery ground is not something we would like to do every day. But that’s exactly what luger Alexander Resch and skeleton slider Kerstin Szymkowiak chose to do when they pursued careers as professional athletes.
Now both retired, the German stars, who have a wealth of experience and an impressive collection of medals between them, are looking forward to passing on their knowledge to the next generation of winter athletes in Innsbruck this January.
“I’m very proud to be one of the ARMs, to be part of the YOG family,” said Kerstin, a former European champion and Olympic silver medallist.
One of the most interesting lessons that Kerstin brings is her decision to switch sports as a teenager, after she realised she was not going to make it as a thrower. Her words of advice to young athletes? “Go your own way, stay realistic, save some time for reflecting and enjoy life.”
Alex, an Olympic and world champion in men’s doubles, had to overcome his biggest challenge at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver when his team suffered “big problems” in training, but they “believed in ourselves and won the bronze in our last race.”
His advice? “The most important property of becoming an Olympic champion is self-discipline and great power of endurance. Always, my mother told me not to give up! The only thing that can be given up is a letter at a post office!”
Olympians, world champions, record-breakers: we really are spoiling you with these ARMs. Watch this space for more introductions coming soon!