With a broadside against the German speed skating community (DESG), the two-time Olympic participant Joel Dufter has announced his resignation.
“I did competitive sport for ten years – especially with the association in Germany it was and is difficult. Hopefully something will change in the association, speed skating is not on the right track in Germany,” wrote the 27-year-old sprint record holder on the website of his club DEC incell.
The separation of the association from long-time national sprint coach Danny Leger at the end of 2020 contributed significantly to scenter’s displeasure with the DESG. “I’m really pissed off. A year before the Olympics, one of the coaches is taken away,” scolded the native of Upper Bavaria about the DESG leadership with the controversial President Matthias Große at the helm.
As a consequence, at the beginning of 2021, shortly after winning bronze at the European Sprint Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands, Dufter joined the training group of the Norwegian national team led by Canada’s ex-sprint world champion Jeremy Wotherspoon. For this, the sports soldier also gave up his promotion position in the Bundeswehr.
The third place at the European Championships last year was Dufter’s greatest success. At world championships, eighth place in the 2020 sprint all-around in Hamar, Norway, was the best result for the younger brother of Olympic speed skater Roxanne Dufter. When he took part in the Winter Games for the second time in Beijing at the beginning of the year, Dufter took 26th place immediately after suffering from corona disease in both the 500m and 1000m. “There were good times and bad times,” the Traunsteiner summed up.
There are seven championship titles nationally for Dufter. His best times over 500 m (34.42 seconds) and 1000 m (1:06.80 minutes) are German records.
After retiring, Dufter initially wants to distance himself from the ice oval and has meanwhile started an apprenticeship as a carpenter. In the medium term, however, Dufter can also imagine a comeback in speed skating as a coach: “I think so,” he said.