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Winter Sports in Germany
German Lifestyle has played a critical role in shaping the kind of sports that are played in the country. The landscape and weather also contribute highly when it comes to the type of sports the country dominates in. The country plays almost each of the winter sports and dominates in almost each of these. We try to take a look at the winter sports in Germany that are popular at professional levels and have been gaining popularity in the country since years below:
- Sledding: Ranking among the most successful nations for winter sports, Germany dominates sledding. There are different tracks for the sport namely: four bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton tracks. These tracks are located in Altenberg, Winterberg, Oberhof, and Königssee. On the other hand, the country has also been a dominant nation when it came to Bobsledding. Ranking below Switzerland, Germany has won the most number of medals than any other playing nation. The tally doubles the numbers of Switzerland if one adds the medals won by East Germany & West Germany during the period of 1949 to 1990.
- Luge: Luge is one of the other sports where Germany still remains dominant from the day the sport was introduced at the Winter Olympics at the start of the 20th century. Out of the 117 Medals distributed at the Olympics till date, 70 has been bagged by Germany.
- Skeleton: Anja Huber and Kerstin Jurgens are the well-known names that have kept Germany in a dominating position in Skeleton.
- Biathlon: With 59 Olympic medals in biathlon, this winter sport is rapidly gaining popularity in the country as well.
- Skiing: Skiing, on the other hand, became quite popular after Tobias Angerer won consecutive Cross country World Cups in 2005 and 2006. Adding to its popularity, Jens Weißflog, Sven Hannawald, Martin Schmitt, and Hans-Georg have been the known names from Germany in the field of Skiing. Alpine skiing is one variant that has been popular due to the females like Katja Seizinger, Rosi Mittermaier, etc.
- Skating: 4 out of the well-known faces from women’s ISU Speed Skating World Cup are from Germany. It is an indicator of the potential the country has when it comes to playing this sport. Moreover, men have not been behind when it comes to bagging medals in speed skating too. Dating back to the era of 1891, one can see traces of the heritage that the country borrows from the past in figure skating. It was Oskar Uhlig who had won the inaugural event of the European Figure Skating Championship. Subsequent years saw the likes of Gilbert Fuchs and Anna Hubler bringing fame to the country in the same sport.
- Curling: Another sport that is played at the Winter Olympics, Curling is also a widely played sport in the country. The country has participated in every Olympic after its reintroduction in the year 1998. Earlier, both the men and women teams from Germany had won the World Championships in 1992 and 1994 respectively. A lessor known sport, ice stock sport or Eisstockschiessen is a variation of Curling that is played in Southern part of Germany.
The above mentioned are the popular German Sports the country has been playing since years, however, some fantastic playing venues and natural conditions have made the country excel in each of the above areas. 10 of the most popular venues that are a treat for the respective sports at those places have been discussed below:
Your Favorite Winter Sport in Germany
- Skiing at Garmisch-Partenkirchen: This place offers a number of runs to choose from. For a skiing enthusiast, a single day is not enough when it comes to exploring the entire area.
- Bobsled & Skelton at Kleinstadt: A terrific place for the enthusiasts playing any of these two sports. It is a popular spot for people living in NRW whereby Winterberg bobsled track known as Bobbahn is a treat. If you are brave enough or master the sport, a ride down 5,250 feet track at 60 miles an hour would be an experience for sure.
- Indoor Skiing at Bottrop: For the people who love indoor winter sports, Bottrop is the place to be. It has the world’s longest indoor slope named as alpinecenter. It is situated at 640 meters, it takes a few minutes for you to go down but is one of the most unique adventures the sport has on offer.
- Sledding at Oberbayern: Marked as the longest sledding tracks, this is over 4 miles in distance. It is 3000 feet high and it takes over 30 minutes to come down from the top.
- Ski Jumping at Garmisch-Partenkirchen: If you are at Garmisch, it would be a mistake of not experiencing the Olympic Ski Jump. Besides witnessing the Four Hills Tournament can be really fun to watch. You can yourself take a ride on the slopes after observing the jumpers having fun at this place.
- Paragliding at Oberstdorf: A place bestowed with natural beauty at its best, paragliding at Oberstdorf is some experience. This place offers amazing views of some of the highest peaks from Germany along with some beautiful ski circuits.
- Ice skating at Essen: Declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, Zeche Zollverein is one of the oldest mining facilities in the country. In the winters, the place develops itself into a beautiful ice skating rink. For the love birds, the place offers a beautiful old building that is one of the hotspots for a romantic vacation during the winters.
- Snowshoeing at the Black Forest: Similar to what you do while hiking, snowshoeing is an extended variant. You need to wear a dedicated footwear to walk over across a dense forest covered with trees having a blanket of snow over them.
- Cross-Country Skiing at Reit im Winkl: This village remains covered under snow and was 1st visited by King Maximilian II from Bavaria in the year 1858. Ever since this spot has been a popular place for the Germans for skiing.
- Ice Skating at Hamburg: Droves are out the moment the Outer Alster Lake freezes during the winters. However, it is not every year that one has the opportunity to try ice skating at this lake. Located in the city of Hamburg, it is on the list of the visitors looking for a winter hangout in the Northern part of Germany. To top that, the year this lake freezes to its potential, one has the opportunity to witness the “Alstereisvergnügen” festival.
So if you are looking to indulge in some winter sports and experience them personally, Germany is one of the top nations to be at. The country has been promoting these sports and spots both in and outside the country. Most of these sporting venues are well-equipped to offer one of the best experiences to the visitors. Both in terms of safety and fun, people would be glad to know that Germany has implemented all the essential measures that are needed.