A big recognition for Nordic Combined star Johannes Rydzek: The 26-year-old has been voted as “Athlete of the Year” by the German sports media. The prize has been awarded since 1949, with the addition of the “Team of the Year” in 1957, and is the most important recognition an athlete can achieve in Germany.
After Georg Thoma (1960), Franz Keller (1968), Ronny Ackermann (2005), Rydzek is the fourth Nordic Combined athlete to receive this honour after a fable season with four World Championship gold medals in Lahti. In this year’s vote, he received 1782 votes and beat Triathlon World Champion Patrick Lange (1323) and Javelin World Champion Johannes Vetter (1093), as well as tennis ace Alexander Zverev, cycling’s Marcel Kittel and teammate Eric Frenzel.
The Nordic Combined team achieved the third place in the category “Team of the Year”, after beach volleyballers Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst and the “Deutschland Achter” (rowing).
Rydzek’s good friend and fellow Nordic Combined athlete Samuel Costa presented Rydzek with the trophy and held a laudation in a televised award ceremony from Baden-Baden.