Walking away from the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck last year with a bronze medal in her hand, the German ice hockey defender Anna Fiegert says 2012 was “a great year”! The YOG graduate has since been working hard to achieve her dreams to qualify with the national team for Sochi 2014, and today Anna is training harder than ever as she prepares to play First Division hockey for Minnesota State University Mankato (MNSU) in the USA.
In between her travels and training, Anna found some time to answer our questions:
How did you get into your sport and what do you love about it?
I started playing because my older brother played and my dad liked watching our local hockey team. He found out that they had a good programme for young players so he sent me there too. My brother stopped pretty early but I fell in love with this game and that's why I stuck with it! It's just so competitive and fast and so much fun to play. I can't really explain it, it's just the feeling you get when you're on the ice and nothing else matters any more.
How did it feel to represent your country at the Youth Olympic Games?
It was an amazing feeling. The whole organisation was great, there were a lot of people watching and many German athletes from other sports came to cheer for us. It's definitely something worth training for!
What did you learn from the Youth Olympic Games?
Well, I got to know the feeling of being part of something bigger. I learned to deal with the "pressure" (in a good way) of representing my country and having people watching your every step!
What have you been doing since Innsbruck 2012?
I finished high school and got into a programme overseas. I played for the Scanlon Creek Hockey Academy (in Canada) and tried to improve wherever I could. They helped me get my scholarship to Minnesota State University (MNSU) in the USA for the next four years! It was a great year!
Are you aiming for Sochi 2014?
Definitely! There's still 10 months left and I'm going to do whatever it takes to be part of that team and hope that it will be enough in the end! I have great conditions at MNSU to train and improve, and that's my plan!
Tell us about your typical week, from training to studying and socialising.
Last season, my life was pretty much all about hockey and I wanted it like that! I had workout from Monday toThursday in the morning, before breakfast, for one-and-a-half hours (sometimes also on Fridays, depending on whether we had a tournament or a game that day or not). After breakfast, the students went to school. As I had already graduated, I had the mornings off. I just took one course where I was preparing for the SAT test, which was after lunch for 90 min. In the afternoon, we had ice practice, most of the time for two of two-and-a-half hours. On the weekends, we generally had games or tournaments, but we also had some weekends off to do some fun stuff.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
I don’t think I can really pick out one specific piece of advice, but I would say that this season at Scanlon Creek really helped me to grow as a person as well as a hockey player and I can't thank them enough for everything!
What advice would you give to athletes hoping to compete in the Youth Olympic Games?
I would tell them to always follow their dream. If you really want something and you commit to working for it and to do everything it takes, you are going to get it! You just have to believe in yourself!
What do you do to relax?
I like to listen to music and read, but sometimes the best thing is to grab a coffee with some really good friends and talk about everything but hockey. Sometimes I just have to clear my head!
Do you have any other secret talents/skills?
Hmm, I don't really know. I really like to bake and I'm pretty good at that. That's the only thing that comes to my mind! Maybe I have some secret talents I don't know yet.
What’s your breakfast of champions?
A bowl of oatmeal, a banana and some coffee would be perfect as a breakfast.
Who is your hero?
It's hard to say. I don't really have a hero... I think in general I admire people who follow their dreams and try to make it happen with everything they can. People who don't cheat or get where they are through contacts. Nothing but hard work and endurance!