There is bewilderment at the federal rhythmic gymnastics base in Fellbach-Schmiden (near Stuttgart). The 16-year-old junior squad athlete Mia Lietke was found dead.
As the Swabian Gymnastics Association announced on Monday afternoon, 16-year-old gymnast Mia Lietke “died very suddenly and unexpectedly” on Thursday. The cause of death is currently under investigation. An autopsy result is not yet available. The athletes at the federal base and their families are currently receiving psychological support.
Her hometown club, the Berlin TSC, reacted with “great dismay” to Lietke’s “unexpected death”. The club’s website says: “We will miss her determined, friendly nature and her presence on and off the RSG carpet. At the same time, she is a souvenir and memory that will have a permanent place with us forever.” The German Gymnastics Federation (DTB) also reacted with dismay: “Our deepest sympathy goes out to Mia’s family in these difficult hours, to whom we wish all the strength in the world to be able to deal with this sad event.”
A year and a half ago, Mia Lietke beamed into the camera in Fellbach-Schmiden and proudly presented her medal and certificate to the photographer. At the German Youth Championships in May 2022, the then 14-year-old athlete from the Berlin Gymnastics and Sports Club won silver in the all-around competition in the 15th grade and gold in the final with the hoop, her favorite equipment. Now she has died at the site of this beautiful success. At only 16 years old.
Mia loved the elegance of gymnastics
Mia Lietke was born in Ulm. Germany’s most prominent gymnast Magdalena Brzeska (26 German championship titles) paved her way into competitive sports. As a small child, Mia was involved in a variety of sports and was initially primarily a dancer. At that time, the gymnasts also trained in the hall in Söflingen, with Brzeska as the base trainer for Baden-Württemberg.
“I thought it was beautiful how they moved so elegantly and wanted to do that too,” said Mia later in an article by the Berlin State Sports Association. But because her daughter was already doing so many other things, mother Nicole initially didn’t want to get into gymnastics Mia, who was six years old at the time, had to beg a bit.
Magdalena Brzeska as trainer
With success. She came under the wing of Brzeska in Söflingen. At first, Mia didn’t know how prominent her trainer was. She was just surprised that so many people wanted her trainer’s autographs. “It was a great honor to work with her. She is the face of rhythmic gymnastics,” she later said. Due to her father’s job, Mia, then nine years old, moved with her parents and older brother from Swabia to Berlin.
One passionate Perfectionist
The young gymnast’s sporting development was excellent. In June 2022, Lietke was elected “Berlin Young Athlete”. “Passion, will and ambition” are a prerequisite for success in her sport, said Mia, because sometimes it is “pretty hard.”
Anzhelika Lepekha, association trainer at the federal base in Berlin, was full of praise for her protégé: “Mia is a very determined athlete. She wants to do everything 100 percent. When she makes small mistakes, she works hard so as not to make the mistake again. ” Mia Lietke was part of the Berlin TSC Bundesliga team that became German runner-up two years in a row.
Move to Fellbach-Schmiden
A few months ago, in the summer, Mia Lietke was called up to the national team group. She had previously moved from the federal base in Berlin to the national team center in Schmiden at the beginning of 2023. She wanted to prepare with the group for the upcoming World and European Championships. The team already knew her from courses.
Mia’s big dream was to take part in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. She will no longer be able to fulfill this dream.