Back to the roots: After a break of around three years due to corona, Upper Austria’s athletes’ choice, which OÖN organized for the 48th time – together with the state of Upper Austria – returned with the choice of champions on the big stage. “It’s impressive that something has evoked so much fascination for five decades. A lot has been done right,” emphasized the governor Thomas Stelzerwho then had the laughter on his side: “If possible, I always look when our athletes are in action – and write to them immediately. Anyone is welcome to take a look at these chats…”
Around 300 guests transformed the Palais Kaufmännischer Verein in Linz into a pretty stadium on Thursday evening, which even featured standing ovations. Namely for the former European Judo Champion Sabrina Filzmoser, who was awarded the “Golden Leo” for exceptional performance outside of the competition. The social commitment of the 42-year-old from Thalheim, who cycled from the shores of the Indian Ocean to Nepal in May to climb Mount Everest, deserves the highest recognition. Also from the point of view of the Tokyo 2021 Judo Olympic bronze medalist, Shamil Borchashviliwho held the laudation for his mentor: “She is a role model for everyone. I could definitely learn a lot from her.”
Filzmoser himself was almost flabbergasted at the award and was even briefly “Schmahnstad”. “I wasn’t prepared for that at all. I’m completely overwhelmed, I can’t think of anything right now. It’s important to support the younger generation and pass on your values.” This also includes serving a good cause. Children and school projects in Nepal have been on the agenda of Filzmoser for years, who consults her mentor Willi Reizelsdorfer thanked.
“When he drives, the pulse increases”
She was not the only highly decorated woman on this magical night, on the top floor there were only women, which also reflected the absence of the sportsman of the year, Vincent Kriechmayrwas owed.
The two-time world champion from Cortina 2021 is about to leave for the overseas speed races and understandably didn’t want to take any risks before the trip to America. Acting took sister Jacoba Kriechmayr, a superb freeskier, accepted the trophy. She directed “greetings from Vincent” and admitted: “When he drives, the pulse increases.”
- OÖN TV: That was the 48th sports election of the OÖ Nachrichten
This is also the case with the main sponsor. Werner SteineckerGeneral Director of Energie AG, knows “that there is a lot of work behind the success”.
Kriechmayr himself reported to the OÖN the day after work. “I really didn’t expect to win this election this year. There are so many other great athletes in Upper Austria. It’s a great honor for me,” said the 31-year-old, who has been in the gym in Obertauern for the past few days condition tanked. On Tuesday, there will be a flying change to Colorado, where deep winter temperatures await the Mühlviertler. Kriechmayr: “I’m not sure if I can stand the cold after this warm autumn.” It’s no secret that he’s already keen on racing. Kriechmayr’s thirst for success has intensified by winning the sports election.
Was very motivated too Lisa Marie Hagerthe captain of the Oberbank Steelvolleys Linz-Steg, who received the gold medal for team of the year. This not only successfully defended the title in the championship, but also that in the selection of athletes. “The past few years have shown that we are stable. It’s a great honor for us because there are many other super teams.” The celebration was still rather slow-paced, because the next league match at the “Erzbergmadln” is already on the program for today (6:30 p.m.).
That’s called professional attitude, which also OÖN managing director Lorenz Cuturi pleases. “If the team is properly formed, top performance is possible.” The state sports council sees it similarly Markus Achleitner: “Especially in sport, you can make a difference together. Sport is a wonderful recipe for presenting a country internationally.”
Sofia Polcanova, double European champion 2022 in table tennis, did it brilliantly. The 28-year-old can call herself “Sportswoman of the Year” for the second time after 2018. “It’s nice that the hard work has paid off. Now I’m proud of myself,” said the current number twelve in the world.
There was a lot of applause not only for them – for example from the Deputy Mayor of Linz Karin Hoerzing, Gottfried WurpesManaging Director of Technogym, ORF Country Director Klaus Oberederstate sports director Gerhard Rumetshoferthe umbrella organization grande Herman Krist (ASKO), Peter Reichl (ASVÖ) and Franz Schiefermair (Union), Gerhard Goetschhoferthe head of the Upper Austrian Football Association and chairman of the specialist council committee, as well as many other guests of honor such as former ÖFB President Leo Windtnerex-ÖSV sports director Hans Pum or Josef Paukenhaider, the regional sales director of Brau Union Austria. A complete list would go beyond the scope here.
The first election winner was there
Nevertheless, two “special guests” should be mentioned. One is a cycling old master Ludwig Kretzthe Thomas Arnoldner, deputy editor-in-chief of OÖN, said: “Even the first winner of the athletes’ choice (1975, note) gives us the honor. It’s a big family that comes together here.” This also includes Richard Diessthe discoverer of “high flyer” Andrew Goldberger.