Finally, it is the time again: the Olympic Winter Games are on!
After four long years of waiting, expectations are running high about how the world’s top athletes will perform in Sochi, Russia.
Among them, there are two exceptional contestants, reaching for gold in the category pair figure ice-skating: Robin Szolkowy and Aljona Savchenko.
They met for the first time on the ice in 2000 at the Junior World Championship. Aljona Savchenko won gold with her partner Stanislav Morozov, while Robin Szolkowy and his partner Claudia Rauschenbach only came tenth. Greatly impressed, Robin said afterwards: “Aliona was completely different league, like from another world.”
In the summer of 2003, the two had their first trial together. Only half a year later in 2004, as a couple, they won the German championship due to an outstanding performance.
They have proven their excellence since by winning an additional total of 8 gold and 4 silver medals in the World Cup and European Cup in the last seven years.
The pair came third at the last Olympic Winter Games four years ago, so this year’s competition can be their chance to win their first Olympic gold.
In Robin Szolkowy’s words, “It would mean the world to us to get the gold medal. It’s a big dream.”
Both of them are competing for the German team and are German by nationality, however they both have a New European background. Indeed, Robin Szolkowy was born and raised in Germany, but has a Tanzanian father. On the other hand, Aljona Savchenko is originally from Ukraine, and only obtained the German citizenship in 2005 after moving to Germany in 2003.
Sport has always let emotions run high, and even though ice skating fans are rather quiet, compared to the average football fan, their supporters are eagerly awaiting their performance. But most importantly, through their sportive engagement, both represent great examples of how New Europeans can become national role models in their new home.
Today, both are representing Germany and EU at high class sporting events, and are making us proud. So, let’s hope for a gold medal for diversity!
Robin and Aliona will be on the ice rink today, Feb 11, at 16h (European Time) for the Short program, and tomorrow, Feb 12, at 16.45h for the Freestyle.