7 Days, 7 Good News: German Judo World Champion, Transgender at Olympics and Basketballer Zipser Survives Brain Hemorrhage

LISTICLE | 06/16/2021
7 days, 7 good news stories: a heroic victory in the Tour-de-France, a head wash for the bathing cap ignoramuses and a football club taking a stand against racism.
Antonia Wille

We think: Every now and then you need good news. Especially from the world of sports. In our Good News from ISPO we serve you seven news items every week that make our - and hopefully your - sports heart beat faster. Because the news is fun. Because they are trend-setting. Because they show new trends. Because they sprinkle a pinch of absurdity in a much too serious world. Or because they simply bring joy. The main thing is to be in a good mood, that's our motto in this news format. And we start right away. With a female footballer with a doctorate, finally tutoring in judo ratings again and a climbing collection that is climate neutral. Plus a basketball star for whom health has become the most important thing.


Being Transgender? "This is not a choice"

Transgender people will probably also be discussed at the Olympics in Tokyo. Because New Zealand is probably sending weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, the first openly living transwoman, to the Olympic Games. Even in the run-up to her nomination, Hubbard has to face dogged discussions about her supposed advantages because she is said to have more strength in her body from her time as a man. In contrast, how comforting it is that the topic of transgender people in sports can be discussed free of ideology. In the documentary "Changing the Game" filmmaker Michael Barnett, in fact, does something that breaks away from the doggedness of the idea of competition - he shows people. "Being transgender is not a choice," says teenage skier Sarah Rose Huckmann there. "From the beginning, I knew I was a girl." Three athletes are featured in the film, all three united by the fact that their gender identity complicates much of their lives. Huckmann, who competes in Nordic skiing, also shares something with eventual Olympic weightlifter Laurel Hubbard: namely, the nagging worry that athletic success will be doubted because of her originally male gender. Our good news - it's good that a Sarah Rose Huckmann documentary addresses this issue from the perspective of her personal concerns, far beyond a sports policy debate. Because weightlifter Hubbard has long since given up on even having this discussion openly. She no longer gives interviews.


Frau Doktor Knaak scores Goals for Germany

It's not a double doctorate, but it is a real doctorate from a footballer: national player Turid Knaak has pursued her second career at her desk in parallel to her career on the pitch. Knaak completed a doctorate in special education at the University of Cologne.

Not only her doctoral advisor, Matthias Grünke, finds that extremely remarkable. "She pulls it off," Grünke told "Sportschau." In the process, he said, the 30-year-old has held her own in two fields that are marked by enormous competition - the soccer field and academia. "Of course I'm proud that I've managed to do it this way, to manage both," said the Essen-born striker, who plays for Atlético Madrid in Spain's Primera Division. We think that's cool, but we have another suggestion. Because Turid doesn't want to have her "Dr." emblazoned on her jersey. But we think so: Absolutely! What unique dialogues with the referee would be possible. "Knaak, yellow card" - "still doctor for you, referee"...


Sports and Outdoor Brands are Hanging in There More for Sustainability

While paying at the checkout, we have cursed many times, but here now all respect, dear sports and outdoor brands. You drive us not only to move in nature (the beautiful things also want to be in the fresh air). You also do more than others to preserve nature. A study by Textile Exchange entitled "Material Change Insights Report" showed that the circularity score of outdoor and sports companies increased by 57 percent last year. The average increase was just 37 percent. The verbiage circularity rating simply means that companies are using more and more renewable cotton and recycled polyester. In addition to an improved environmental footprint, social sustainability is also coming into play. As a result, outdoor and sports manufacturers made it into the top five trends of 2020. By the way, Textile Exchange allows companies to apply for a 2021 audit to see if they are making a significant difference. We think: Nothing like applying and proving it - this megatrend helps us all.


100 Percent Climate Neutral Climbing Collection

A great example of sustainability Ortovox is just getting underway. The next Alpinkletter collection is completely climate-neutral. According to the company from Taufkirchen near Munich, this is a matter of conscience. "How can access to mountain sports be made more compatible with nature?" Behind the answer formulated by Ortovox to this question is eco-high tech. There are PFC-free jackets, vests and pants, fabrics made of hemp and organic cotton, or climbing backpacks made of recycled polyamide. Ortovox promises to check the supply chain for each of the 40 or so climate-neutral products and to compensate for any unavoidable climate impact via Climate Partner. And the company makes a further promise - by 2024 the entire collection should be climate-neutral.


Basketball Player Paul Zipser Wins More Important Things Than a Championship Title

Of course, the fans of the Bayern Munich basketball team will have been annoyed. The championship was quickly lost in the final series against Alba Berlin, a defeat in, of all places, their home Audi Dome in Munich. And yet there were people among the Munich crowd who, above all, felt a deep sense of gratitude on finals day. Because the great Munich star Paul Zipser won something more important than a championship title - in an emergency operation his life was saved. As the hall announcer told the fans in the arena during the final game, Zipser underwent emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage just days before the decisive game and was saved. Zipser is said to have had a congenital vascular malformation, which, according to information from Munich's "tz", was removed so successfully that there is probably nothing standing in the way of a comeback. The moral support for Zipser was great. Munich coach Andrea Trinchieri wore a Zipser jersey, even the reserve players had shirts with Zipser's number 16. The fact that the championship title is gone became a minor matter - the recovery of the former NBA pro, which will probably take several months, is the main thing.


After almost 30 Years a German Judo World Champion again

The last time a German became Judo World Champion, she was not even born yet: After almost 30 years without a world championship title, Anna-Maria Wagner won the gold medal at the world championships in Budapest. In her weight class up to 78 kilos, the last title was even almost 40 years ago. "Judo-Germany is in great excitement", Daniel Keller, the president of the German Judo Federation, reached for the very big cheer. We think this is how we are allowed to celebrate a final victory over the world number one from France, Madeleine Malonga. And we are happy to be able to absorb technical terms from the Judo sport again after such a long abstinence. Because Wagner won "highly deserved with Waza-ari", as the Judo Association told us clueless people. Sure, Waza-ari, everybody knows that... But again something learned: Waza-ari is the second highest score. And little Judo 101: 2 times Waza-ari equals an Ippon.


Sport as an Antidepressant

For many amateur athletes, exercise is a real mood booster. Now researchers have deciphered how sport helps molecularly against depression. The magic word is lactate. Lactate - better known as lactic acid - is produced during exercise. And as the researchers around the neuroscientist Jean-Luc Martin discovered, it plays a crucial role in the brain. There it nourishes the neurons, thus promoting the formation of new neurons and ensuring the survival of existing neurons. These in turn have been shown to decrease, especially in people suffering from depression. In experiments with mice, the researchers used lactate to restart the formation of neurons, and the depressed, listless behavior of the mice was reduced. In addition, the researchers found that lactate also had a positive effect on depression in conjunction with the molecule NADH. The scientists now want to derive therapeutic approaches from the results. You don't have to be a prophet to suspect that these will have to do with exercise.

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Antonia Wille