In Germany sporting markswomen are scarcely known. Apart from niche sponsors the athletes have no real financial support. That’s how it is for Barbara Engleder too, who will be experiencing her fourth Olympic games in Rio and she she will be competing with her air rifle on the first day of competition, Saturday 6 August, as a candidate for the first German Olympic medal during the 2016 summer games.
There is a prize of 20,000 euros for a gold medal which is of course considerable motivation for top performance. Nonetheless the Olympian is annoyed that members of the German football team got 300,000 euros for the world championship while Olympic champions only get 20,000 euros. That’s not fair. “Third division footballers earn such a lot of money without having to do much to earn it. It is crazy what you can sometimes earn in professional sports like football, golf or tennis.”
Low rewards: “Nobody knows who I am”
The football Bundesliga just agreed a TV deal for about 1.16 billion euros per season. To sublicense the winter and summer games in 2018 and 2020 the German national broadcasters ARD and ZDF haven’t even spent 150 million euros. The market value simply isn’t high enough and Barbara Engleder understands that too: “Nobody knows who I am. An Olympic medal would be fantastic, but I definitely don’t want to win it for the money.”
It is the fault of the system that athletes can only keep going via the German army or the police, “For example, I never wanted to join the Bundeswehr, but my dad said it’s your only chance if you want to get anywhere in sport. It’s only with support from the Bundeswehr that it worked out.”