After both winning gold in their respective judo events at London 2012, German twin sisters Ramona and Carmen Brussig are hoping to repeat their success at September’s Paralympic Games in Rio.
Just 15minutes after Carmen topped the podium in the up to 48kg category at London 2012, her identical twin Ramona sealed gold in the up to 52kg.
Now, with five months to go until Rio 2016, two-time Paralympic champion Ramona expects this shared success to continue.
“The win in London was the most beautiful one because my sister Carmen won gold as well. It will be hard to top this at Rio 2016,” said Ramona.
“Back then, no one expected this. I think this is one of the most treasured memories and moments in my life.”
Triple-world champion Carmen shares this dream with her twin sister, but prefers to be cautious.
“It is not usual to see twins being successful in sports. This unique story started in Beijing and continued in London. Will it have a third part in Rio? We will see…,” said Carmen, who was born 15 minutes before her sister.
The hype in London around the golden Brussig twins was understandably huge, with both having to attend lots of photo shoots and give many media interviews.
“It was quite exhausting for us in London, and we could only fully enjoy our success once we arrived at home where we got welcomed warmly. Sharing this with my sister was just extraordinary,” Ramona said.
Ramona and Carmen are tied closely, and it seems that tie has gotten even stronger since they won the Paralympics.
“Our relationship is very firm, and the fact that Carmen is a world and Paralympic champion as well makes everything just double exciting,” Ramona, the four-time world champion said.
Carmen agreed: “It means a lot for me to have my sister on my side, together we are stronger.”
Whenever they can, they also train together. Currently, Carmen lives in Switzerland, while Ramona is based in Germany.
“Whenever we meet up, we practice together. This is mainly during training camps or when we just visit each other,” the younger sister said.
Rivalry between the two has never been an issue. If there is something that they do not like, it is when they get compared with each other after a competition.
“Carmen is competing in another class and it is not possible to compare it to my weight class. We won everything and no one can take this from us. It is absolutely not necessary to compare each other,” Ramona stressed.
Both will compete again at Rio 2016 and Ramona is aiming to win her third gold after success in Athens and London, not to mention a silver in Beijing.
“My coaches are being spoiled with me winning many medals, and the pressure rises,” she said.
Carmen is hoping to top the podium as well, after winning the bronze at Beijing 2008 and the gold four years ago.
“All competitors are strong. I never underestimate any of them. Besides, every Paralympic Games is very special. I believe the Brazilian people will make Rio 2016 unforgettable,” she said.
Rio 2016 could also be the 38-year-old twins last Games.
“Tokyo 2020 is very tempting; however, I am not the youngest anymore. My focus now is fully set on Rio 2016 and then we will see,” Ramona said.
“I am preparing myself for this year’s Paralympic Games. As Ramona, I want to fully focus on Rio now. I am not thinking if they are going to be my last or not. My thoughts are focusing on Rio,” Carmen concluded.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.