Paralympian versus Olympic medalist
A giant step for handicapped sports
Paralympian Sebastian Dietz went up against discus gold medalist Robert Harting at the Internationales Stadionfest at Berlin’s Olympiastadion. He showed that handicapped sports are also serious sports. Dietz did not win the competition, but he did win the hearts and minds of the fans.
Sebastian Dietz had already won gold at the 2012 Paralympics. At 42.18 meters, he also held the discus world record in his class. And yet his appearance at the Internationales Stadionfest (“International Stadium Festival” – ISTAF) was unique. The Allianz employee was the first-ever German Paralympian to enter an official competition at the ISTAF for athletes without handicaps. He competed against Robert Harting, also the current world champion and gold medalist for discus in London.
The 38.27 meter throw did not quite reach Dietz’s personal best, but nonetheless the competition was very important to him: “It was a great event, especially for handicapped sports. I hope that, if nothing else, my performance made one thing clear: You can’t compare apples and oranges, but we are all serious athletes.”
In terms of attention, handicapped sports certainly also reached a personal best at this event. Some 50.000 spectators came to the stadium, and millions of people watched the event on TV. Usually, only the Paralympics themselves get these kinds of ratings.
Allianz has been a supporter of the Paralympic movement since 2006, a successful partnerships on both sides. In addition to the global partnership, there are local partnerships in more than ten countries. Allianz’s Paralympic infographics that explain how people with a visual handicap play soccer or how to play tennis in a wheelchair are very popular.
The ISTAF is Germany’s most famous track and field meet. Its long and rich tradition make it one of the most popular and successful major sporting events in Germany.
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