I am the physiotherapist for the German Skiing Association’s Downhill and Super G Ladies Team. Therefore I am always at Viktoria’s side, be it on the slopes or when she is on the treatment couch. In addition to my physiotherapy work I also, for example, supervise the timing, give the go-ahead for the start of the race via radio and also provide first aid if there is a fall. As you can see, I am around Victoria all day long – so it’s very important that we get on well. The atmosphere in the team is really good, we all understand each other very well.
Viktoria and I got on like a house on fire right from the start. When I began my new job in July 2014 the girls gave me a really nice welcome and immediately trusted me. As I said, Victoria and I took a shine to each other at the very beginning. I can sit with her for ten hours on a car journey, and we still manage to enjoy each other’s company for the whole stretch. We both have the same sense of humour and a slightly ironic way of looking at things. We understand each other without words – that is particularly important, for example, at the start of a race when the skier focuses on what is ahead of her. Even after a long three-week trip, we can still stand the sight of each other and have fun together in our free time. That something I really value and should not be taken for granted!
The working relationship I have with Viktoria is a very professional one – criticism is possible, because we both know that is the only way to make progress from the point of view of treatment. The treatments are on a high level – top-calibre competitive athletes have a very strong awareness of their bodies, and they know what is important when it comes to treatment. As a physiotherapist, I also have to know what is important and find the right solution to the problem. And that works very well with Victoria. I can work with her over a longer period on many small details – for example, on the mobility of her ankle – ensuring everything is in the right position so that she is well and truly prepared for action. As a physiotherapist, she also helps me to develop further and that makes it all so enjoyable! For such athletes I like to take my time. That is why we often have long and intensive treatments. For this reason, we occasionally have to have one or the other evening session to achieve the best possible physiotherapeutic results. It is important that the athlete’s mind plays along – it is not just about giving the body the best possible treatment, it is also necessary to relax and put some distance between you and what is going on all around you.
I come from the state of Thuringia and at the beginning I had a hard time dealing with alpine skiing. In this respect Viktoria supported me and gave me some great tips to improve my skiing. She just stayed natural – a great human being!