Heike Drechsler has big plans
This women is a phenomenon. And always, if nobody expect anything anymore, she comes up again. Somehow this should be the trademark of Heike Drechsler. The long jumper has reached everything an athlete is able to reach. And she hasn`t have enough from the hop in the sand. She was 18, when the tall, blond girl in Helsinki became the first time World Champion. 1993 in Stuttgart she repeated the success, Olympic Champion she even became two times - 1992 and 2000 - and she makes her job still with a big zeal. "Long jump is a big fun for me", told the mother of a son named Tony. Beside that, it`s no secret, that she earns her living with jumping.
The indoor season 2002 she missed because of an injury. Some days before the meeting in Karlsruhe the 37 year old athlete had problems with the muscles in her legs and she didn`t want rik anything. Because it will have more important things this year.
The European Championships in the home country of course mean something special for every athlete. Even such a successful woman like Heike Drechsler who couldn`t count her titles anymore.
The tall blond athlete already won four gold medalls in a row in the long jump at the European Championships. Since 1986 nobody could beat her at the Continental Championships. But to retire she even doesn`t waste any thought. "Why I should stop, if I have so much fun and my body still works and funktions", she asks everbody who wants to know, why she still does athletics and trains hard. Even from time to time some muscles and bones don`t want the same like she wants and thwart her plans.
The smart 37 year old woman, who represents the European Championships in Munich as one of the eleven embassadores, didn`t have always reasons to laugh. She looks back on a turbulent emotional life so far. But the sports often helped her to manage a lot of bad blows. Even there were absolutely a few hard times in her sportslife. Times, she asked herself sometimes, "why I need this things anymore"? But this phases didn`t go on a long time.
1999 at the World Championship in Seville she traveled to Spain already, and had to leave again, before the Qualifikation had taken place. An injury in the calf prevented a start in Andalucia.
In this case she was really fed up. "I thought, why I do that anymore", Heike Drechsler told about this difficult time.
But nevertheless she always comes up again. And she shows optimism and ambition. Heike Drechsler is a fighter. Private and in the sport. A person who never gives up. She had to get through the divorce from her husband Andreas, she must fight for the custody of her son Tony, she went some years through a lot more of lows than of highs. But Heike Drechsler pulled her together all the time. "I never had the feeling to give up a fight", she said. Never !
At the evening of the 29th September 2000 in the Olympic stadium in Sydney she knew, the fight was worth everything. At this day the lifepartner of the former European Champion in the decathlon, Alain Blondel, became Olympic Champion the second time in her life.
And in Sydney didn`t exist a more emotional, more beautiful and more unbelievible story, than her story. Heike Drechsler jumped 6,99 m, won the title and was writing sports history.
Even though she already had to cancle the season because of injuries.
But the tall athlete once more proved: she always comes back.
Long jump is her life. She made a few trips to some other disciplines. With big success. In the Sprint, in the heptathlon.
1986 at the EM in Stuttgart for example she won beside gold in the long jump also the title in the 200 m race with the world record of 21,71 sek. But at the end Heike Drechsler always landed in the sand again. Litteraly !
That doesn`t mean that she doesn`t think about her future after the sport. She could imagine to work with children. Maybe as a coach and she pass her experience on and will try to inspire young talents for athletics.
"I am not the youngest anymore", Heike Drechsler said and smiled. The European Championship will be the last Continental Championship. And the 37 year old athlete wants to be in on the action and fights for the medals.
If you look at the serie, nothing could go wrong. International Championships which took place in Germany were always a good place for the two times Olympic champion as the past has shown. In this case Munich is the right thing for Heike Drechsler.