Geisenberger calls Bach – and receives promises

Despite major concerns, Olympic luge champion Natalie Geisenberger finally decided to start at the Winter Games in Beijing (February 4 to 20) – a critical conversation with IOC President Thomas Bach also helped. “I thought about it for a very, very long time,” said Geisenberger: “And I tried to use my voice to address some issues.”

Since the lugers’ three-week stay in China around the start of the season on the Olympic track in November, she has “invested an incredible amount of time to improve the conditions for us athletes”. She had “made various phone calls and video calls, also with the President and other representatives of the International Olympic Committee”.

In the course of this, Geisenberger was “promised” a lot, “many points were accepted, it was said that something would be changed. It remains to be seen whether that will happen now.”

Criticisms included the rigid handling of the athletes on site in terms of corona containment, the accommodation and also the process and safety of the corona tests. In the run-up to the season, the tobogganists had also had bad experiences with run-down quarantine hotels. Geisenberger therefore even considered giving up the Olympics at the beginning of December.

The chance to change something about the conditions has now led to a rethink. In addition, Geisenberger had planned this sporting highlight after the birth of her first son in 2020. “The goal that I had set for myself with my family was the 2022 Olympics,” she said: “And getting out so close to the goal would have felt wrong.”


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