The team members

Mirja Stoldt

I was born and raised in Windhoek, Namibia. My whole life I have been spending in the Gymnastics Hall.

Still a baby my mother, a former german national team member for trampoline and a coach, took me along to her training sessions. So I ended up doing trampoline with my mother, which later led to quite some discrepancies with my mom.

So I tried myself in Artistic Gymnastics, but falling so often as you do in gymnastics is nothing for a 5 year old child. One day, I saw a training session of the Rhythmic Gymnasts and decided that is what I want to do.

So in 1999 I started with the most beautiful sport in the world: Rhythmic Gymnastics. Meanwhile I still did Ballet for 10 years.

From then on Gymnastics was my life and I trained 4 hours daily, trying to cope with my school work simultaneously, and spending my holidays by training twice a day, 2-3 hours in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. Compensating the hard work were competitions like the African Championships in Cape Town, Egypt and Walvis Bay, FIG World Cup Series – XXI Portimao International Tournament 2007/Portugal, Taiwan International 2005 in Taipeh etc.

I am also a qulified judge and coach and I am coaching at the OSC Berlin at the moment. When I fly home during my holidays I still go to training everyday as if nothing has changed, because it is just so hard to let go

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Anne F.

I was born in Berlin, Wilmersdorf, and have lived there all my life. From early on I have been excited about sports but before I found the perfect sport (horseback riding) I tried many other ones.

When I was 6 year old I did ballet for one year. After that I tried out Judo for one year as well (because that is the sport my father does) and then I played field hockey (again for one year), which was my mother’s favorite sport. For the next couple of years I did a little track and field, mostly running, until I discovered horseback riding in 2001/2002.

Since that time I have been riding regularly, varying from 2 times up to 4 times a week. I do not own a horse, but I take care of other people’s horses. This is a lot of fun, for I get to ride many different horses and often I help out spontaneously, which gives me even more exercise. And I enjoy the different possibilities of horseback riding. I do dressage, jumping and eventing (jumping over solid obstacles).

I also compete, but on a relatively low level, because the horses I ride are very inexperienced and my purpose is more to train them as competing on a high level. This is very neat though, for you can really see the learning development of the horses.

Alina Schönherr

Sport has always been a part of my life. It started in primary school when I realised that  for some reason I was the fastest girl in school. From the moment my sports teacher realised that too I had to go to several atheletic competitions in order to represent my school. This went on for quite a while, until I was seventeen or so.

But my real passion has always been dancing. I took my first ballett class when I was eight and went on exercising for five years. It was more on a having fun rather than a competition level. Although I performed in pointe shoes in front of 800 people in a civil hall.

When my adolescence told me then ballett would not be cool enough anymore I switched over to jazz dance. After I was doing this for quite a while I figured out that Hip Hop/Streetdance would be even cooler than jumping around to Britney Spears. That was when my life changed.

I was so much into this kind of dancing  that I would sacrifice any minute to become more professional. We then participated in competitions which first of all failed. There was so much to catch up and learn from others that we practiced twice a week, even having a whole weekend just practicing à six hours a day. We began to improve, we were becoming better and better. Our trainer had to go abroad due to her studies and had to pass the role of the leader to someone else. They chose me. Now it was up to me inventing new and original choreographies for our first attendance in the Championships of North Germany. I did quite well and we got the 7th place out of 20. We then became quite known, competing on a national level, the “flagship of our surrounding”. People I did not even know talked to me saying how proud they were! Several newspaper articles followed, we were sponsored and went consistently to the German Championships. I trained my formation for about three years and one year ago I had to leave them behind due to my stay abroad. I always think back of this indescribable time with a huge smile on my face. Might have been the best three years in my life, cried a lot, laughed a lot and (of course as we are talking about sports) sweated a lot. But that was it all worth.

about Julia 

Different than others, Julia discovered her sport only recently.

All began four years ago, when she had to go through a really tough time when she lost her dad. During that time, she always felt exhausted, sad and unsettled. She was not the calm girl she used to be, but she thought that she had to keep going: she finished her A-Levels and right thereafter she went studying at a private Business School in Berlin.

But at some point, she realised that something should be changed and she should start doing something for herself and her well-being.

She started running and “it felt great”, she says.

Actually, Julia was never really keen on doing sports. Frankly, in that case she was really lazy. But experiencing a runner’s high, she began to love it. Not just running, but sports in general can change your life or at least give it some relief, feeling lighter, feeling free of all bad thoughts and feelings. You can do it for millions of reasons, but you are always doing it for yourself, she adds.

Running helped her to calm down mentally and find a way to reorganise her life: She quit Private University because it was not what she had expected from University and then started her studies at Berlin School of Economics and Law.

“It was the best choice in my life, so far”, she says.

Her life has changed into a positive and clear defined near future:

“I started to challenge myself, which is a great feeling. I attended theatre lessons, although I am an introverted person. I chose the IBMAN course at BSEL, because English would challenge me. And recently I registered for Berlin Half Marathon: The next goal in my life”.

Anika

I was born in Berlin and have lived there ever since. When I was a child, I enjoyed being outside and doing all kinds of exercising like playing on playgrounds, walking (actually running) the dog, climbing trees, or rushing down hills on her sleigh. To my favorite sport, tennis, I only got by chance, but looking back, it was the best choice I could have possibly made. It is a perfect combination of running, power and grace. Furthermore it is a very clean sport as there is no physical contact between you and your opponent. I really the idea that there is the possibility to either play a single match or in a team with a partner.

I started participating in tournaments only at the age of 9 years and I kept the first cup that I won proudly, because it reminds me of my early beginnings. Until today I regularly play tennis, but besides that I go skiing in the winter and running in the summer.

After I finished school I went overseas where I discovered a new sport for me: running. I started running 10k+ distances just for fun and when I returned, I was a tennis coach for 6 months. I played nearly every day, which finally let me to stop for a while. In that time I concentrated on going to the gym. But I realized very quickly that I could not be without tennis, so I started playing again, keeping it to a minimum though, to not loose motivation again.

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