Feature: Germany's luge coach eager for more success after landslide victory at Beijing 2022

(Xinhua) 16:26, February 11, 2022

BERLIN, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Trying to get behind the story of the most successful luge coach of the past ten years means talking about a passionate grandpa.

As soon as Lorenz and Ludwig turn up, Norbert Loch makes every effort to make his grandsons the happiest little ones on earth. The five- and four-year-old are his son Felix's children and the family's treasures.

Sometimes, grandpa Loch admits with a glint in his eye, he forgets about his main job as Germany's head coach when they are around.

The two boys are not only his grandsons but "they love to move around and do sports," he adds.

In moments like this, Norbert Loch slips back to his 17 years as a talent coach in Bavaria. While Lorenz and Ludwig might be the youngsters to care for at present, years ago it was Natalie, Felix, Tobias one, and Tobias two.

Now, many years later, the coach can hardly speak as emotions have taken hold of him. The 59-year-old is standing in front of a TV camera being asked to talk about Germany's all-time success at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

Four gold and two silver medals stand for the country's most successful luge performance at an Olympic Games.

Singles luger Natalie Geisenberger and doubles athletes Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt in China won their sixth Olympic gold.

Together with Norbert Loch's son, three-time gold medal winner Felix, they all went through his training since they were children, turning up at a sliding track in the Bavarian mountains, asking if they could try.

"It's a gift to be around over the years with them and help them to find their way. It might help me as a national coach to know them all their lives," the German coach stated.

Instead of talking about the stunning success at the Beijing Olympics, he mentioned the efforts ahead to attract new talents to the luge, as Germany is hosting the 2023 World Championships.

Norbert Loch demanded to rebuild the landslide-damaged track in Konigssee, and encouraged 2018 silver medal winner Dajana Eitberger to come back stronger after her COVID infection and other injuries.

"I hope everyone remembers what a track at Konigssee means for young talents," he said.

Athletes talk about him as their paternal companion, praise his expertise and passion for the sport, and helpful tips to improve their performance.

Luge has been his desire since he was able to walk. Having to end his career due to a knee injury, Loch senior dedicated his life to his sport.

"I am not a medal counter. I am happy when we get our athletes to the peak for the competition, as we did at the 2022 Games," he said.

He loves to speak about luge as a team sport, requiring the joint effort of athletes, coaches, mechanics and medical staff.

Standing next to the National Sliding Center in Yanqing, Loch was asked if he was happy after six medals. "I am relieved," he answered. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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