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19/12/2016 10:48
Rio Olympic champs are Germany’s ‘Team of the Year’
News from the National Federations

Frankfurt, Germany, December 19, 2016. Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst received on Sunday night the award for Germany’s ‘Team of the Year’. The two Beach Volleyball players, who are also the reigning European champions, topped the final charts after votes were cast by more than 3,000 German sports journalists, leaving behind the men’s handball national team – bronze medal winners at Rio 2016 – and the women’s soccer national team that also won gold at this year’s Olympics. Gymnast Fabian Hambüchen and tennis player Angelique Kerber received the awards for Germany’s Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, respectively.

This is the first time in the 70-year-long history of the awards that the prize for the ‘Team of the Year’ goes to Volleyball or Beach Volleyball players.

“This is really cool and it makes our 2016 season a truly perfect one,” Laura Ludwig commented. Ludwig and Walkenhorst received the trophy from the hands of their sports psychologist, Anett Szegeti.

Many people in Germany still remember the long, sleepless nights they had during the Rio 2016 Olympics to follow the triumphal march of Ludwig and Walkenhorst which reached its climax with the gold medal match played at 5 a.m. CET before a partisan Brazilian crowd supporting home favourites Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas.

Though their popularity has risen to unprecedented heights, Ludwig and Walkenhorst remain extremely down-to-earth. A documentary movie produced by Guido Weihermüller reviews the ‘way to Olympic glory’, with Ludwig and Walkenhorst overcoming injuries and troubles along the way to Rio 2016 and to their unforgettable nights on Copacabana.

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