Do Germans love football? Absolutely! Just about everyone has a Bundesliga team which they follow, and every week (during the football season) thousands of fans around the country flock to football stadiums to support their favourite team(s).
… But is football the only sport which Germans play? Absolutely not!
Motorsport (Formula 1)
Michael Schumacher. Sebastian Vettel.
Nowadays these are household names, not only in Germany, but around the world. These two drivers dominated the world of Formula 1 for many years and made watching the races on a Sunday afternoon a favourite German pastime.
Copyright: DHB/ Tilo Wiedensohler
Handball is a widely played and loved sport in Germany. The German National Team – Bad Boys (link to http://www.badboys-handball.com/nationen/deutschland) – is considered one of the best teams in the world, boasting nine world championship titles and two European championship titles. After winning their last world championship title in 2007, the team had a rocky performance for a few years, missing out on qualifying for the European championship in 2014. At the European championship in 2016, the Bad Boys were predicted to get kicked out of the competition in the group stage, however, in what has been described as a Sommermärchen (summer fairy tale), they ended up winning the entire competition.
Copyright: City-Press GbR
Although Canada and the USA are most famous for their love of ice hockey, Germans love it too! In fact, many people say that there is no sport in Germany where the fans are as noisy, and party quite as hard at the games, than at ice hockey games. Most major cities in Germany have an ice hockey team – so why not head to a game sometime and see if this rumour is true?
Although not many German players have made it into the American NHL, the German ice hockey league is considered to be one of the best leagues worldwide.
The hype around tennis in Germany started in the 90s. Boris Becker became the youngest player ever to win the title of Wimbledon, whilst Steffi Graf was the top female player in the world for many years (you can get a picture with Boris and Steffi at Madame Tussauds in Berlin!). The hype died down for a few years, but with Angelique Kerber winning the Australian Open and US Open in 2016, the nation is once again closely following the sport.
Ask any German what they are doing over the winter break, and many will reply “Ich fahre in den Skiurlaub” (I’m going on a skiing holiday). Every winter, the roads heading towards the mountains are full of traffic jams, as most families and friend groups head up to the Alps to spend a week or two skiing or snowboarding (and warming up with a hot chocolate by the fire in the ski huts).
Photo: Tim de Waele | http://www.tdwsport.com/
Many people enjoy cycling in Germany, in fact, in one week in Germany you will see more people cycling around town than you may see in Australia in an entire year. When it comes to the professional sport, there are not too many professional cyclists, however, Germans do enjoy watching sport on TV of an afternoon – particularly the Tour de France. In fact, cycling is one of the most watched sports on TV in Germany!
The myth that football is the only sport which Germans play or watch is absolutely:
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