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Faces from the German Special Olympics team

Germany’s team for the Special Olympics World Games includes over 400 athletes. We’d like to introduce three of them. 

Germany’s team for the Special Olympics
Germany’s team for the Special Olympics © SOD

More than 400 athletes are representing Germany at the Special Olympics, the world’s largest sporting event for people with intellectual or multiple disabilities. Christine Krajewski, President of Special Olympics Deutschland (SOD) explained that the team comprised “414 personalities” who wanted to be good hosts towards the 7,000 athletes from all over the world. Members of “TeamSOD” are competing in 25 of the 26 different sports at the Special Olympics. Some are taking part for the first time while others have won medals at previous Special Olympics. They are all role models for the more than 40.000 athletes who are members of the SOD association. We’d like to introduce three of these 414 remarkable individuals

Agnes Wessalowski, athletics 

Athlete and actress: Agnes Wessalowski
Athlete and actress: Agnes Wessalowski © SOD

Agnes is 42 and is one of the best-known faces in TeamSOD, having already competed in many national and international competitions in the Special Olympics movement. She won gold in the 100m at the national games in 2022 and now wants to take top spot on the podium for the world games. But her role model is not a successful sportswoman. Instead, she admires the US actor Scott Caan from the TV series Hawaii Five-0. She says Caan is an actor, “just like I am.” Agnes works as an actress and singer at the Klabauter theatre in Hamburg which features an inclusive company of performers.

Robert Herberg, cycling 

Cyclist Robert Herberg
Cyclist Robert Herberg © SOD

In January 2023 Robert Herbert, 41, fired the starting pistol for Six Day Berlin, a long-running event where professional cyclists from around the world go head to head. “Sending that many cyclists out onto the track was so much fun,” Robert said at the time. “I’m already looking forward to my own ride at the World Games in June,” he added. Robert works at a workshop in Berlin for people with disabilities. Now, six months on, he hasn’t got long to wait. He won gold at the last World Games in Abu Dhabi in 2019 and wants another medal this time. What’s his advice to all athletes? “Always keep at it, believe in yourself and get up even when you fall down.”

Nicola Brings, football 

Captain of Germany’s women’s football team Nicola Brings
Captain of Germany’s women’s football team Nicola Brings © SOD

“We got to play in the Olympic Stadium while we were preparing and I’m looking forward to taking to the pitch with my team for the World Games,” said the 41-year-old captain in the run-up to the competition. Berlin’s Olympic Stadium holds a crowd of 76,000 and will host the opening ceremony. The football tournament will be played on the May Field right outside the stadium. Nicola Brings comes from North Rhine-Westphalia and works in food service for a bank. Her role model for women’s football is one of the greats: Alexandra Popp, the captain of Germany’s women’s national team. Nicola says she admires Popp because she gives everything and is a fantastic team player. 

You can find more information about the Special Olympics in Berlin here