A good five months after the Olympic Games in Beijing, speed skater Joel Dufter surprisingly ended his career at the age of 27 and criticized the national association.
His decision had been made for a long time, said the sprint specialist in a message distributed on the website of the DEC Inzell association. “I did competitive sports for ten years, it was and is very difficult, especially with the association in Germany, but I also lacked the motivation to do so recently. It was easy for me to say goodbye,” explained Dufter.
The Inzeller, who improved the German record over 500 meters to 34.32 seconds last season, was particularly critical of the separation from his coach Danny Leger. His contract, which expired at the end of 2020, had not been extended by the German Speed Skating and Short Track Association (DESG). He then moved to the Norwegian team with former Canadian world-class sprinter Jeremy Wotherspoon.
At the Olympic Games in Beijing, after a previous corona infection and delayed arrival, in both 500 meters and 1000 meters, Dufter did not get past 26th place. He has now started an apprenticeship as a carpenter and wants to play ice hockey at amateur level. He made it dependent on developments in the DESG whether he might return to the ice oval as a trainer. “I think so, in a few years, but hopefully something will change in the association, speed skating in Germany is currently not on the right track,” he said.