After bad luck with an injury: Adrian Ludtke strikes again

Mit Tempo 60 durch die Kurve: Adrian Lüdtke vom ESV Turbine Rostock.

The ankle healed a long time ago, but Adrian Ludtke’s pain from missing out on the Olympic Games is still deep. “It was very disastrous. I would have preferred to start in Beijing, for my family, for my hometown and for my club,” says ESV Turbine Rostock Short Tracker. It sounds like a failed Abitur – “with the difference that I didn’t spoil it myself. So it hurts even more,” says the 23-year-old.


Ludtke had a hairline crack in his right ankle in mid-October. Despite the injury, he made his World Cup debut in October and November. They tried it, after all it was a question of qualifying for the Winter Olympics. But the swollen leg played only a limited role. “I just got into the shoes, but couldn’t walk properly,” reports Ludtke.

When the world’s elite are competing, he knows you have to be at the top level in the preliminary rounds. The required nomination criteria – running in the top 15 twice or once in the top eight – became too much of a hindrance for him in these circumstances. “It made Olympic history for me.”

Adrian Ludtke worked towards this goal for years. To fulfill his dream of participating in the Olympics, he moved to the federal base in Dresden in 2018.

He found a nice apartment in Südvorstadt, which is only a few minutes’ walk from the university. His girlfriend Jeanine, a budding landscape designer, moved in with him after some time. “Whether by car or bike, I can get to the ice rink in fifteen minutes,” reports Ludtke, who holds a professional position as a sports soldier in the German armed forces.

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Last year’s World Cup Tenth trains six to eight hours every six days a week. In spring 2020, when lockdown made ice training impossible, he set up a small weight room in his apartment. He worked out dumbbells, tried yoga, jogged and raced and went on tours with a mountain bike – up to 80 kilometers a day.

Connected to the house: Adrian Ludtke, the miniature tracker from ESV Turbine Rostock.
© Private

Whether sporty or private – everything fits in the metropolis on the Elbe. Still, Ludtke misses the answer. “There’s a different wind blowing in there, and the people are of a different race,” he explains. On Christmas he visited his family in Rostock. His father, a trained cook, took care of the festive meals. “It was delicious to say no,” says Ludke, who has meanwhile returned to Dresden.

EM should have been introduced in the Saxon city in mid-January. But the continental title matches were canceled due to the pandemic situation. Polish runners prepare for the Winter Games in Beijing on the Elbe.

Adrian Ludke would like to celebrate his return to the World Championships in Montreal (Canada) in early March. What attracts them about short track is the speed, the pressure that athletes feel when they slide into corners at 60 km/h, and the competition. “You run man not against man, but against four or five people.” Often the nuances are the deciding factor in who is the front runner. Whether snow quality, runners or mental strength — “there are many factors that play a role,” Ludtke says.

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Sports is his passion. It is yet to be determined whether he will make a new attempt at participating in the Winter Games in 2026 as a miniature tracker. “Let’s see how it all develops in Germany. Maybe I’ll try something else again.”

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