Who are the German athletes at the forefront of bobsleigh?
One man epitomizes German bobsleigh dominance: Francesco Friedrich. The 32-year-old slider has four Olympic medals to his name, all of them gold.
At PyeongChang 2018, he won the gold double, advancing to victory in both the two-player and four-player events. And when he repeated the feat at Beijing 2022, no one in the winter sports world was surprised.
Friedrich’s World Cup record is similarly dominant. Five overall combined titles switch on 44 victories in a two-person competition and 22 in four. Add to that 11th World Championship titles divided between two and four people and you start to have a complete picture.
Friedrich is nothing short of a sports phenomenon and arguably the greatest athlete in the history of the Winter Olympic Games.
But the German team has more than one card up its sleeve when it comes to bobsleigh.
Laura Nolte won gold in the women’s doubles competition in Beijing, and seven years younger than Friedrich, she has years of lead in the sport of bobsleigh.
The 24-year-old is eight-time World Cup winner with four silver and two bronze also on his resume. In Beijing in 2022, she overtook by nearly a second her nearest rival – another dominant German – Mariama Jamanka, who withdrew from the sport after the last Games.
Perhaps this is a ray of hope for the rivals of this nation of eternal victors. However, while third place in Beijing went to the American team of Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman, in fourth place was a familiar nation: the German duo of Kim Kalicki and Lisa Buckwitz.
While Friedrichs is a star in both two-man and four-man bobsleigh, there is no shortage of other German sleds ready to take his place should he decide to leave the stage.
The silver medal in the Beijing 2022 two-man competition went to Johannes Lochner and Florian Bauer. Lochner has five world championship gold medals his name in a two-person competition, and a another nine in fourand it is no exaggeration to say that if he had been born in a different era, he might as well have been a multiple Olympic gold medalist.
Beijing bronze medal winner Christoph Hafer was something of a surprise – apart from the flag he competed under, of course.