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24362-Merle Marie Menje photo

Merle Marie Menje

Athletics | Nordic Skiing

Biography

Impairment information

Origin of Impairment
Congenital

Further personal information

Residence
Singen, GER
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
English

Sport specific information

Club / Team
StTV Singen: Germany

General interest

Nicknames
German Wunderkind (sportschau.de, 05 Jun 2021; welt.de, 06 Jun 2021)
Most influential person in career
Her parents. (suedkurier.de, 10 Jun 2021)
Hero / Idol
Swiss wheelchair racers Manuela Schar and Marcel Hug. (invacare.de, 05 Jun 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The longer the distance, the better." (invacare.de, 05 Jun 2021)
Awards and honours
She was named 2021 Young Para Athlete of the Year by the German Disabled Sports Association [DBS]. (dbs-npc.de, 07 Dec 2021)
Other sports
She has represented Germany in both Para athletics and Para cross-country skiing. She competed in T54 wheelchair racing events at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and in cross-country skiing sitting events at the 2021 World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway. (SportsDeskOnline, 09 Feb 2022; sportschau.de, 05 Jun 2021; nordski.de, 01 Dec 2018)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing and the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. (Wochenblatt, 22 Sep 2021; welt.de, 06 Jun 2021)
Impairment
She has spina bifida. (teamdeutschland-paralympics.de, 28 Jul 2021)
Other information
MULTI-SPORT ATHLETE
She says she does not have a preference between wheelchair racing and Para cross-country skiing, having competed in both sports at elite level. "Both sports complement each other very well. From a purely athletic point of view, the applied muscle groups are relatively the same. For cross-country skiing, however, you need stronger abdominal and back muscles to keep your balance and manoeuvre. I don't have a preference. I like the freedom in both sports, the technique, the fun of movement, and the speed you can get." (tagesspiegel.de, 29 Aug 2021)