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The President's Citizen Celebration IN BERLIN


On the occasion of the "Day of the Open Castle", German president Joachim Gauck unlocked the doors of Bellevue Castle to the public on a sunny summer Saturday. The event focused on spotlighting the committed volunteerism of many citizens and people could find plenty of information on their work. Everyone was able to visit the castle and the culinary delights on offer invited to linger in the festively decorated park. Visitors could listen to various talks and attend musical performances at the "Stage in the Park" while the "Sports Area" provided athletes and dancers with wonderful opportunities to demonstrate their skills.

During a previous personal encounter, President Gauck had asked me if i would be willing to talk about my work with the Katarina Witt Foundation which supports children with physical disabilities. Of course I could not refuse his offer and talked about our achievements during a roundtable at the "Meeting Place" moderated by the charming tv host Katrin Müller-Hohenstein.

photo 1: President Joachim Gauck gave an ardent and passionate plea about the power of sports live on stage. Soccer star Hasan Salihamidzic, 5-time Sochi Paralympic Gold Medalist Anna Schaffelhuber and I witness his wholehearted enthusiasm when speaking about the Paralympic athletes.

photo 2: The Paralympic athletes were the focus of our discussion and the live feed to the Rio Paralympics was a highlight for all of us. The successful Paralympians Markus Rehm and Denise Schindler turned out to be very witty talkers and excellent ambassadors for their sport.

photo 3: Allianz AG is a close partner, promoter and supporter of Paralympic sports and in a slightly smaller roundtable we continued to discuss the topic of disabled sports, attended by many interested listeners. As you can see the women were eagerly engaged in the discussion while Hasan patiently signed countless autographs.

photo 4: Soccer star Hasan Salihamidzic, 5-time Paralympic Gold Medalist from Sochi Anna Schaffelhuber, tv host Katrin Müller-Hohenstein and I posing for a souvenir photo for various social media ;-)

Copyright Katarina Witt