The 46th “Ball of Sports” was held in Wiesbaden, Germany, on February 6th. For the first time, Germany’s Federal President Joachim Gauck visited the benefit gala of the German Sport Aid (Deutsche Sporthilfe). In the 2016 Olympic year, the charity gala took place under the heading: “Performance. Fair play. Together.”
The audience celebrated and honored especially the newly minted European handball champions- the German men’s team won the European Championships one week ago – but also swimming had an amazing stage in front of 1,600 invited guests .
The proceeds from the charity gala, every year about 750.000 euros (845.000 USD) goes to the German Sport Aid. The promintent athletes, this time again over 100 medalist at Olympic Games, World and European Championships met the representatives of the top companies of the German economy – more than 150 companies participated as sponsors. Among other things, there was a raffle with prizes worth 500,000 euros (560.000 USD).
The famous German swim champions were supported by more successful athletes from different sports: Kirsten Bruhn (paralympic swimming, Olympic gold medalist 2004, 2008, 2012), Lars Conrad (swimming, Olympic silver medalist 2004), Petra Dallmann (swimming, Olympic bronze medalist 2004), Markus Deibler (swimming, SC World Champion 2014, SC World record holder 100 IM), Anja Dittmer (triathlon, European team champion 2007), Thomas Fahrner (swimming, Olympic silver medalist 1984), Meike Freitag (swimming, Olympic bronze medalist 1996 and 2000), Steffen Gebhardt (modern pentathlon, World Champion 2007), Martin Herrmann (swimming, European silver medalist 1989), Christian Keller (swimming, Olympic bronze medalist 1996), Laura Lindeman (triathlon, junior World Champion 2014, 2015), Thomas Lurz (open water swimming, Olympic silver medalist 2012), Torben Schmidtke (paralympic swimmer, Olympic silver medalist 2012), Lena Schöneborn (modern pentathlon, Olympic gold medalist 2008), Hagen Stamm (water polo, Olympic bronze medalist 1984), Klaus Steinbach (swimming,Olympic silver medalist 1972), Stev Theloke (swimming, Olympic bronze medalist 2000), Christian Tröger (swimming, three times Olympic bronze medalist 1992, 1996).
Another highlight of the sports show was the performance of Thomas Lurz who is the most successful open water swimmer at World Championships where he won a total of 20 medals, 12 of them are golden ones and he won the silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in the 10 km and a bronze four years earlier at the 2008 Olympics. He competed from the 5 km up to the 25 km and in team competitions. He was supported at the Ball of Sports by other German long-distance swimmers: Thore Bermel (bronze medalist at the European Games 2015) , Lea Boy (8th at the European Games 2015) , Britta Kamrau ( 4-time world champion in 2002, 2004 , 2007). They swam 25 kilometers in four hours and they collected money for a good cause. The company “Nordsee” donated 50 euros (56 USD) for each swum lane.
Press release of the German Sport Aid