Submitted by tabea.jhonson on Tue, 04/20/2021 - 11:56

At this year’s Nordic Ski World Championships in Oberstdorf I was fully accredited as head coach for Team Bolivia. My athlete Timo achieved the Olympic qualification in cross-country skiing. As a Sports Chaplain I was giving the opportunity to hold a Chapel Service with all the corona protective measures. I was happy to hear that athletes and coaches were very touched by it and felt encouraged and refreshed for the upcoming competitions. A very successful athlete who already attended one of our team devotions at another World Championship was not allowed to start at the first team event this time. She was devastated, but through her presence at the competitions she showed her support towards her team. As a Sports Chaplain I was able to speak to her and encourage her in her situation. Two days later she became World Champion. I was also able to encourage another athlete for his competitions, and he too was allowed to leave Oberstdorf with medals around his neck.

Of course, there weren’t just success stories. Many athletes were disappointed because of various reasons. The Italian Team for example had to leave Oberstdorf in the middle of the night because some team members were tested positive. I was able to talk to two of them on the phone and was excited to hear how both of them dealt very well with the disappointment of not being able to compete. As Sports Chaplains we see ourselves as trustworthy and discrete partners who take the worries & fears of athletes in situations just like this seriously. Now more than ever, it is crucial to care about the mental & spiritual needs of our elite athletes and help them regain their confidence during this crisis! We are here to ensure that athletes & coaches don’t get crushed by the disappointments & hardships this crisis has caused.

We also offer discrete 1:1 meetings online. If you are an athlete or coach who is interested in an online 1:1 meeting, please don’t hesitate to contact us through the contact form. We are here for you!