Showdown on Olympiasee

Olympians Lemke and Zeidler face each other in a unique race

Challenge accepted! What started as fun on social media was put into action on Wednesday. Max Lemke, newly crowned Olympic champion in the men's kayak four and Oliver Zeidler, reigning world champion in the men's single sculls swapped their equipment for a special kind of duel on Olympiasee. One year before the start of the European Championships Munich 2022, the two elite athletes whetted the appetite for the biggest multi-sport event in Germany since the 1972 Olympic Games. Their race was just one of many highlights to celebrate the one year to go milestone - from Theresienwiese and Odeonsplatz to Olympiapark, the entire city got into the Munich 2022 spirit.

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Nine European championships and a vibrant festival under one roof: From 11-21 August 2022, there will be something on offer for everyone. With one year to go, the organisers put everyone in the right mood with sports and music activities across the city. The colourful programme for this major milestone invited fans and passersby to participate and experience a first taste of Munich 2022.

Beach volleyball with that summer feeling, a roundabout ping pong tournament, the opportunity to boulder, completing a gymnastics badge and much more - young and old were warmly welcome to discover the nine sports for themselves. Joining the action were seven athletes from the Class of 22. A year ago, the documentary series ushered in the two-year countdown and thus now celebrated its own first anniversary. 

Christina Hering, Olympic athlete and multiple German 800-metre champion, laced up her running shoes for a community run in Olympiapark. Things also got sporty virtually: Franca and Simon Henseleit usually complete three disciplines in a triathlon, but this time they only took to the bike. Anyone who could not be on site had a chance to compete against the siblings via Zwift. Pole vaulter Bo Kanda Lita Baehre and sport climber Alma Bestvater also attended the events in Munich, looking ahead to the European Championships at home next year.

Zeidler and Lemke completed the class reunion. For the past year, they have also been providing insights into their lives as athletes in the monthly series. So, who looked better in one another's boat? Given the skills of these two exceptional athletes, it was no surprise a photo finish had to determine the winner, and ultimately it was Zeidler.

In August 2022, they will be back in their own boat and element, and - so the hopes of the home fans - both will cross the finish line first in their respective discipline. After all, bright sunshine at the Olympic Regatta Centre does not rule out a downpour of medals.

"As athletes, generally the goal is to win. Otherwise we wouldn't be at the level we are at," Lemke confirmed. Eleven days of competition, medal decisions each day, 176 in total; the 24-year-old is already looking forward to the multi-sport event: "All athletes in Germany who want to and will take part in the European Championships are really looking forward to having such an event in Germany again. We haven't had that in a long time. I hope that I can also get a first-hand impression of the other sports, which unfortunately was not possible at the Olympic Games."


RowingClass of 22Munich 2022Canoe Sprint