Climbing comeback at the European Championships: An intern's miracle cure
Created: 08/10/2022, 08:24
By: Thomas Jensen
Stretches both arms again: Alma Bestvater.
Alma Bestvater is bouldering at the European Championships in Munich, although she only dislocated her shoulder in winter.
Munich – On Friday, an intern climbs to reach the finals in bouldering at the European Championships.
An intern from the Organizing Committee to be exact.
What sounds like the screenplay of a sports film was initially described by many as a "pipe dream", says Alma Bestvater, the intern.
However, that was not due to the job that Bestvater had from February to July, because the 26-year-old is one of Germany's best sport climbers.
It's because she dislocated her left shoulder during training earlier this year.
A European Championship participation of the native of Weimar, who has lived in the Olympic Village in Munich since 2018, was ruled out.
The rehab then went well and her strength came back faster than expected, she says in an interview with our newspaper and explains: "The goal of not returning until 2023 didn't work for me at all.
That's why I used the championships as a motivational opportunity, but didn't really believe in it at first."
In late April, almost three months after her surgery, she was climbing again using both arms.
A month later, she thought for the first time that "something could happen with the European Championships after all." The sports student's internship was already underway at the time, and she worked in the organizing committee in the climbing department.
"It was cool to look behind the scenes and see how much work is behind it," she says, adding: "As an athlete, I usually only get there when everything is ready."
The fact that she is now coming to this event as a participant still feels a bit unrealistic.
Bestvater knows that things can also go differently, she once missed a major event.
In the spring of 2020, she seriously injured her elbow - her chances of going to the Olympics were gone, and the extended preparation time due to the pandemic was not enough for her to qualify for the games.
"I've collected enough bad karma points," she says when asked about her bad luck with injuries before major events: "From now on there's only luck, that's my opinion on it."
That won't be enough to boulder successfully at Königsplatz, but understandably she doesn't name any ambitious goals: "It will be my first competition this year, so of course it's very difficult for me to judge." Participating in the final in front of a home audience would of course be "really cool". , she says and ponders: "But is it enough for that?" The top six qualify for a final in bouldering.
The Munich resident would like to enjoy the event one way or the other.
For her, the thing about home competitions is that friends and family can watch.
But she also wants to watch the other sports.
"I'm particularly interested in athletics, gymnastics and BMX," says Bestvater.
It's not far from her apartment in the Olympic village, so the way to the championships as a participant was more difficult.