Week 5 – Das Silberne Lorbeerblatt

This week’s Infosheet theme is all about German athletes. What happens when an athlete in Germany performs exceptionally well? Let’s find out…

 

On the 23rd of June 1950 the German President of the time, Theodor Heuss, awarded the first Silbernes Lorbeerblatt. The first male athlete to receive this award was show jumper Fritz Thiedemann and the first female athlete to receive the award was tennis player Inge Pohmann.

 

 

The Silbernes Lorbeerblatt is awarded by the Bundespräsident der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (President of the Federal Republic of Germany) – currently this is Frank-Walter Steinmeier – to athletes who achieved outstanding sporting successes. This award is the highest achievement for top athletic performances in Germany. These outstanding successes include winning a title at a world championship or a medal at the Olympic or Paralympic Games, however, the award is not solely based on performance, but also on character: acting as an example for others is one of the prerequisites for being awarded with the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt. Another fundamental aspect of the award is that disabled and non-disabled athletes should be treated as equals. On the 23rd of June 1993 President Richard Weizsäcker, for the first time ever, presented both disabled and non-disabled recipients of the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt at the same ceremony. Weizsäcker stated that handicapped athletes are also top athletes in their field and should be treated as such. Shortly after he also became the first President to present the award to winners of the Deaflympics.

 

 

Since the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt was first awarded there have been many of recipients of it. Some of the most famous winners of the award include Boris Becker, Angelique Kerber, Uwe Seeler, Steffi Graf, Fritz Walter, Matthias Steiner, Dirk Nowitzki, Birgit Prinz and Kirsten Bruhn. However, athletes are not only able to receive this award for their individual achievements, but whole teams have received this award too, such as the German football team VfB Stuttgart for winning the German football championship in 1950, Germany’s national handball team for winning the world championship in 2007, Germany’s national football team (European Champion in 1972, 1980, 1996 and World Champion in 1954, 1974, 1990, 2014) and Germany’s women’s national football team (European Champion in 1989, 1991, 1995 and 1997, and World Champion in 2003 and 2007).

 

 

 

 

Images and information retrieved from:

http://www.bundespraesident.de/DE/Amt-und-Aufgaben/Orden-und-Ehrungen/Silbernes-Lorbeerblatt/silbernes-lorbeerblatt-node.html

http://www.abendzeitung-muenchen.de/gallery.kapitaen-des-fc-bayern-feiert-31-geburtstag-bilder-lahms-31-lebensjahr-hoehepunkt-seiner-karriere.f056df5b-68c7-458b-91b7-cfacaf11766c.html/id/fc8e48ba-c76e-4851-83a0-a44a3cbbe322

http://www.bz-berlin.de/berlin-sport/mehr-berlin-sport/gauck-ehrt-medaillengewinner-und-hofft-auf-olympia-in-deutschland

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