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Mareike Adermann: Experiences never end

Germany’s Mareike Adermann says that her drive to succeed has not ceased just because she won gold at London 2012.

Germany women's wheelchair basketball Germany's women's wheelchair basketball team celebrates after defeating the Netherlands in the semi-finals at London 2012. © • Getty Images

One of the slogans of the Paralympics 2012 was “Inspire a generation,” a slogan that I do not take lightly and try to embody every day.

As this is my first blog for the IPC, I would like to introduce myself to all of you who have never heard of me before.

I am Mareike Adermann, a wheelchair basketball athlete for the German women’s national team.

I currently go to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the United States. My most recent experiences were winning a gold medal at the Paralympics and winning the U.S. Intercollegiate National Championships in 2012.

Many times, I was told that after winning a gold medal, I have achieved the most I can, so I could quit now.

But I disagree.

Winning a Paralympic gold medal was a great accomplishment, especially as it is the first for my country in wheelchair basketball in 28 years, but still it is not a reason to quit.

When I began playing this sport in 2008, I would have never believed I could get to the top of the world this quick, but my determination and love for the sport allowed me to put on a race that led me to this amazing success.

A success that I want to use to share and make others believe.

Many young athletes do not understand what it takes to become a great athlete. It is not about talent, it is simply about desire, commitment and beliefs - a fact that many forget or never realize.

One of the slogans of the Paralympics 2012 was “Inspire a generation,” a slogan that I do not take lightly and try to embody every day.

Being a gold medalist will not be a personal achievement for me until I look back in 50 years, but until then, it is a task to share my knowledge, experience and fire for my sport with others, especially the next generation.

One of the ways I have started to follow this task is by being a captain and leader on my team at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

It is a great challenge to be part of a college team, because every year there are athletes leaving as they graduate from the university and new athletes join the team.

This is not necessarily a negative thing but it gives me a great opportunity to share my experiences with many young athletes.

I will now regularly publish blogs to allow you to hear about these and other events that influence Paralympians such as myself.