32502-Annika Zeyen photo

Annika Zeyen



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Hennef, GER
Coordinator, Designer
English, French, German
Higher education
Advertising - University of Alabama: Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began competing in Para cycling in 2019.
Club / Team
BG Baskets Hamburg: Germany
Name of coach
Tobias Bachsteffel [national]; Alois Gmeiner [personal]

General interest

Anni (Athlete, 22 Aug 2021)
Sport in general. (Athlete, 22 Aug 2021)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in handcycling in the H3 road race at the 2019 World Championships in Emmen, Netherlands, and claiming gold in wheelchair basketball at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (Athlete, 22 Aug 2021)
Most influential person in career
Her parents. (Athlete, 22 Aug 2021)
Hero / Idol
German steeplechase runner Gesa Krause. (, 2018)
She won a gold medal in handcycling at the 2019 World Championships in Emmen, Netherlands, despite sustaining a broken foot in the lead-up to the competition. (, 31 Jan 2021;, 08 Jan 2020)

A nerve injury that prevented her from moving her arm backwards led to her to take up Para cycling in 2019. (, 19 Sep 2019)

She was forced to withdraw from the 2018 Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin, Germany, due to an arm injury. (, 08 Jan 2020;, 19 Sep 2019)

In 2018 a shoulder injury prevented her from competing at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix events in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Nottwil, Switzerland. She returned to competition in June that year in Nijmegen, Netherlands. (Facebook profile, 10 Jun 2018, 26 May 2018, 14 Mar 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I am a positive person and generally try to get the best out of every situation." (, 19 Sep 2019)
Awards and honours
She was named the 2020 Sportswoman of the Year by media outlet General-Anzeiger Bonn in Germany. (, 31 Jan 2021)

In January 2020 she was invited to sign the Golden Book in Bonn, Germany. People who have signed the book include well-known personalities from around the world, as well as people who have represented the city and contributed to its reputation. (, 08 Jan 2020)

She was named the 2017 Sportswoman of the Year in the Rhein-Sieg district in Germany. (Twitter profile, 18 Apr 2018)

She was flag bearer for Germany at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 17 Sep 2016)

She was named the 2008 Sportswoman of the Year of the Mittelhessen region in Germany. (, 27 Jan 2009)

She received the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt [Silver Laurel Leaf] from the German government in both 2008 and 2012. (, 22 Aug 2013)
Other sports
She was part of the Germany wheelchair basketball team that won gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. She also claimed silver medals in the sport at the 2008 and 2016 Games. After the 2016 Games she took up wheelchair racing and competed at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London, England. She began Para cycling in 2019 and won gold in the H3 road race at the 2019 World Championships in Emmen, Netherlands. (Athlete, 22 Aug 2021; SportsDeskOnline, 05 May 2020;, 19 Sep 2019;, 03 Nov 2017;, 01 Jan 2017)
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 19 Apr 2021)
She was involved in a horse riding accident at age 14, which resulted in paraplegia. (, 19 Sep 2019;, 03 Nov 2017; Athlete, 20 Jul 2016)
Other information
She competed in wheelchair basketball at four Paralympic Games between 2004 and 2016. After winning silver in wheelchair basketball at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she took up wheelchair racing and competed at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London, England. In 2019 she switched sports again due to injury, turning her focus to Para cycling. "When I quit basketball after playing 382 games with the national team in 2016, I tried my hand at the athletics discipline of wheelchair racing. Due to bad luck with injuries, I had to stop and switched to the increasingly popular handbike. In this sport I can maintain my muscular strength in my arms and upper body." (, 19 Sep 2019;, 29 Jul 2019; SportsDeskOnline, 13 Aug 2021)

She had planned to get married in the northern hemisphere summer of 2021 before the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo were postponed for a year. "We align our entire lives to competitions. I actually wanted to get married next summer [speaking in 2020]. Now when the Paralympics take place, my fiance and I will probably postpone the date. Unfortunately, there is no time for a wedding between training camps and competitions." (, 27 Apr 2020)

She works as a design project co-ordinator at the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] in Bonn, Germany. (Facebook profile, 02 Aug 2021;, 08 Jan 2020;, 29 Jul 2019)

She has served as an ambassador for the German Wheelchair Sports Foundation. (, 18 Dec 2016)


Unit Date Rank
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m T54 Final 1 2017-07-15 8
Women's 1500 m T54 Heat 1 2017-07-15 15
Women's 400 m T54 Heat 2 2017-07-16 12
Women's 800 m T54 Heat 1 2017-07-18 11
Women's 5000 m T54 Final 1 2017-07-22 9