He makes an art out of cycling: Lukas Kohl has become artistic cycling world champion for the sixth time in a row this year. The 26-year-old is also a perennial winner in the World Cup and (unsurprisingly) became European champion again. "Kohl proved once again that he is the measure of all things," the German Cyclists' Federation said happily after the renewed victory of the rider from Lower Franconia. The professional artistic cyclist, whom fans call the "Lukinator," has never been as strong as he was this year.
Gold at the Paralympics, wedding plans with her trainer, then a brain tumor: "It was like slamming from cloud nine onto asphalt," said para-swimming pro Elena Semechin about her fate in 2021. But although cancer accompanied her through 2022 as well, the Berlin native didn't give up. At the International German Championships, the blind swimmer finished second directly after chemo therapy, and at the World Para-Swimming Championships she took silver in the middle of the next chemo. "Why me?" she doesn't want to ask herself anymore, Semechin says. What a role model in resilience!
Many Ukrainian athletes are doing incredible things despite the war against their home country - and we were particularly impressed by Yaroslava Mahuchich, who became the pride of Ukraine shortly after the war began. She was awakened by explosions in her home at the beginning of the war, fled to the countryside, hid in a cellar and then made her way to Serbia. In Belgrade, the 20-year-old high jumper then jumped a full 2.02 meters and won world championship gold. And a few months later, gold at the European Championships in Munich - at least good news for her home country.
Go, Gina, Go - this is the race of her life! In 2022, the likeable sprinter Gina Lückenkemper won two gold medals at the European Championships, was voted Sportswoman of the Year, and received a lot of media attention. She is the long-awaited hope for the German sprint and is just warming up. Next year, she not only wants to run among Europe's best, but sprint into the world class - we believe in Gina.
At the beginning of the year, Jule Niemeier was still a noname - now she is Germany's best female tennis player. Niemeier not only earned almost a million U.S. dollars, she also climbed a good bit in the women's world rankings to 61st place. Her newcomer performance at the Wimbledon tournament was particularly impressive. No matter what surfaces she was on, it was a growth year for Jule - and we're very excited to see what we'll see from her in 2023.
She was our personal summer fairy tale. Without Alexandra Popp's goals, the women's national team might never have reached the finals of the European Championship. With her six goals and above all her unbreakable willpower, Popp swept everyone away and made a decisive contribution to the boom in women's soccer. And perhaps we would have won the final at Wembley with Alex Popp out due to injury - England just got lucky.
Turn of the times is the word of the year - and this turn of the times really is one for the better. The sporting goods manufacturer Patagonia is donating all its profits to environmental protection in the future. As a pioneer of a new form of social and sustainable capitalism, Yvon Chouinard was celebrated for transferring 100 percent of his company shares to foundations dedicated to environmental protection. We think that's great and have awarded Patagonia the new ISPO Cup for social commitment - it was an honor. And we're excited to see who will join the brand in 2023.