Harmony and teamwork between partners on skates are criteria for success in figure skating. The German Skating Union (DEU), on the other hand, should not expect a dream grade for the way in which they are looking for a new leadership.

    “I love this sport and am willing to show commitment, but I will not take it beyond a level that is no longer good for me,” said Larissa Vetter.

    The emergency doctor from Ludwigshafen was elected the new president at the general meeting in Munich on September 10, but refused to accept the office.

    Whether she will appear again at the extraordinary general meeting on October 29 in Dortmund is an open question. “But I haven’t decided yet,” said the former DEU association doctor.

    Election trios wanted to be elected as a unit at the election

    “I’m a bit emotional because I thought we could pull together. That wasn’t the case,” said Vetter. She expected difficulties, “but she wasn’t aware that they would be so big”.

    What happened in Munich? Together with Benjamin Blum and Tobias Bayer as vice-presidential candidates, she had decided to compete against Stefan Steinmetz, Andreas Wagner and ex-sports director Udo Dönsdorf.

    Both trios actually wanted to be elected as a whole. But in the vote for the vice-presidents, Andreas Wagner from the rival team prevailed against Bayer.

    “It wasn’t stubborn dogmatism, which is why, in the interests of the members, we considered trying the chosen constellation (with Mr. Wagner) if the headwind hadn’t deterred us,” explained Vetter.

    Hillebrand warns of consequences

    Before the elections, the management presented the financial report and emphasized how difficult it would be for DEU in the future.

    According to Vetter, President Dieter Hillebrand, who has been in office since 2006, then spoke up and warned that the members should think carefully about the consequences of this challenge in the election.

    “Furthermore, he announced that unless the original trio were elected, management would no longer be available,” she said. “In my perception, it was a kind of intimidation. I didn’t expect that.”

    The newly elected executive committee would have been refused cooperation by the management “with an announcement”. Sports director Claudia Pfeifer “at least questioned” a cooperation.

    “Since this is a non-public meeting, I ask for your understanding that I will not answer your questions,” said DEU managing director Alexander Wetzel and the head of sports in the same wording when asked by “dpa”.

    Members of the skating union are reprimanded

    In an internal association newsletter on Friday, however, the members of the DEU were reprimanded by Wetzel with reference to the election result. “The extent to which the members have recognized the seriousness of the situation is rather questionable after the election,” he wrote. President Hillebrand’s urgent appeal “obviously failed to have any effect” on the presidential election.

    Young candidates were sent into the race at short notice without the aptitude test being carried out by the selection committee set up and ignorant of the scope and responsibility that a presidency office entails.

    “Of course, it didn’t go unnoticed that the strings were being pulled behind the scenes in the run-up to the election, in the same way that is also known from politics,” Wetzel complained.

    “We can only hope that the members at the extraordinary general meeting on October 29 in Dortmund have understood our President’s appeal, namely: – Whatever you do, do it sensibly and consider where it leads – by then. “

    Vice President Reinhard Ketterer, who will remain in office together with Florian Gerlach and Hillebrand until the general meeting at the end of October, is appalled by what has happened. “The three young candidates around Larissa Vetter are a real stroke of luck for DEU,” said the Berliner. “I stand behind them 100 percent.” The current leadership trio had not stood for re-election.

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