Champion des Jahres 2012 ist Gerd Schönfelder

Uploaded by smart on 01.10.2012

The 2012 champion is Gerd Schönfelder.
He's overjoyed: Gerd Schönfelder is the 2012 champion.
The 16-times Paralympics winner in alpine skiing convinced Germany's top athletes – his life-time achievement, his medals, his world championship titles.
His reward: a smart fortwo electric drive and a dream holiday.
It's really great to be chosen by fellow athletes.
To receive recognition from athletes who really understand what top performance means.
Being voted for by such people is the most important thing for an athlete.
And then pulling it off in the face of this calibre of competition – that hasn't really sunk in yet.
You hope you might be up among the front runners. But actually finishing as the winner – that's amazing.
The contest in the bright midday sun at the Robinson Club in Crete. 88 athletes gather at the Olympic pool to choose their champion.
Then comes the grand autograph session.
Gerd Schönfelder also adds his signature to the posters.
A poolside group photo after a week of high spirits.
Kalimera Kriti, a paradise for sunseekers and sports enthusiasts. As all these athletes are happy to demonstrate.
You can be spoilt for choice.
There are always new antics to try out – for example, whether nine top athletes will fit inside a smart fortwo – the answer is "yes".
Or there's beach volleyball – with or against gold medal winners Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann.
They also cut a fine figure out of their sandy element. In stand-up paddling in the Cretan sea, for example.
Or when they take to their smart ebikes to see who puts in the best showing on a bicycle course.
This week offers the very best opportunity to come into contact with other athletes.
The majority of the medallists are here now.
They're on holiday, which means they don't have to train six hours a day and they have time to mix.
You really have time to chat and get to know each other at mealtimes.
A guided bike trip through Crete's mountains also brings people closer together.
Steffi Nerius, the 2009 champion, has taken on the uphill gradients.
The javelin thrower is using the week to explore the local area and get to know the other athletes.
The same goes for Michael Jung, gold medallist in eventing.
It's great to be here with all these athletes. You get to meet and chat with a lot of people.
You could say we're like a family, really.
And now he too is very much part of this family: Gerd Schönfelder, the 2012 champion.