How Germany intends to win further Olympic gold medals in the future. “We used to receive ten bright youths, but now we only get two,” Jörn Elberding told DW.

For long years, the managing director of major German sports club Bayer Leverkusen has seen a scarcity of great new talent.

“Things have undoubtedly changed. You have to seek hard these days to find it “He said.

Bayer Leverkusen has produced a number of world and Olympic gold winners, therefore it’s a major issue when a club of this calibre struggles to recruit outstanding young athletes. So bad, in fact, that the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) is now seriously considering methods to prevent the tendency.

“We need to turn things around by applying new concepts,” said Dirk Schimmelpfennig, DOSB board member for competitive sports.

Part of the DOSB’s strategy is to begin by encouraging young people to become more active. They are, however, attempting to reverse a long-term trend that cannot be reversed quickly.

“(Germany’s) performance in Tokyo represents a development that has occurred over the last 30 years,” Schimmelpfennig noted.

Children playing outdoors

German youngsters aren’t as active as they once were

German adolescents have worse motor abilities.

“It’s becoming evident that young people and youngsters are lagging behind in terms of motor abilities and becoming less active. The epidemic has aggravated this “According to Schimmelpfennig. “The first thing we have to do is get the kids moving again.”

“When it comes to motor skill issues, there is no standard image,” Christine Joisten, chair of the Department of Movement and Health Promotion at the German Sport University in Cologne, told DW. “Of course, there are still youngsters who are energetic and move well. However, as one’s degree of schooling declines, so do one’s motor abilities.”

Obesity, a loss of mobility, and, as a result, an even lower willingness to be active result. Not alone is the epidemic to blame. “According to studies, the level of motor skills declined again around the turn of the century due to changes in media intake. However, it has now stabilised at a low level “According to Joisten.

While Germany is not alone in this challenge, other countries are faring far better.

“Sport is more important in other nations… Other nations, particularly those that have caught up with us, such as Italy, France, and Japan, have been quicker to respond and more efficient in the high-performance field. We also have a complex funding system “Schimmelpfennig, who is likewise interested in structural reform, agreed.

However, financing is always a crucial issue in deciding success at the highest level. Elberding, managing director of Bayer Leverkusen, emphasises how the United States develops its finest athletes.

“Some institutions invest €100 million ($116 million) in sports each year,” he remarked. In comparison, the German Ministry of the Interior contributed slightly under €83 million in public financing to the country’s Olympic federations combined in 2019.