May 27, 2024

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

After bad luck with an injury: Adrian Lüdtke attacks again

The ankle has long since recovered, but Adrian Lüdtke’s pain from missing the Olympics remains deep. “It was so devastating. I was hoping to start working in Beijing for my family, my hometown and my club,” says the short ESV Turbine Rostock tracker. It sounds like a failed Abitur – ‘the difference is that I didn’t screw it up myself.’ ‘It hurts more,’ says the 23-year-old.


Ludtek experienced a hairline crack on his right ankle in mid-October. Despite the injury, he participated in the World Cup Finals in October and November. He tried it, after all it was a question of qualifying for the Winter Olympics. But the swollen foot played only a limited role. “I just got on the shoe, but I couldn’t walk properly,” Lodetke says.

When the world’s elite compete, he knows you have to level up in the preliminary round. The required nomination criteria – to run twice in the top 15 or once in the top eight – turned out to be pretty big hurdles for him under the circumstances. “It made Olympic history for me.”

Adrian Lüdtke has worked towards this goal for years. In order to fulfill his dream of participating in the Olympic Games, he moved to the federal base in Dresden in 2018.

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He found a nice apartment in Südvorstadt, only a few minutes’ walk from the university. His girlfriend Jenin, a budding landscape designer, moved in with him shortly thereafter. “Whether by car or bicycle, I can be on the ice rink in fifteen minutes,” says Ludetke, who has professional conditions as a sports soldier in the German armed forces.

The tenth World Cup of the previous year trains from six to eight hours every six days a week. In the spring of 2020, when lockdown made snow training impossible, he set up a small weight room in his apartment. He worked with dumbbells, tried yoga, jogging, went on sprints and mountain bikes – up to 80 kilometers a day.

Home Connected: Short tracker Adrian Lüdtke from ESV Turbine Rostock.
© Private

Whether sporty or private – everything suits the city of the Elbe. However, Lüdtke misses the North. “Different winds blow there, and the people are also of a different breed,” he explains. During Christmas he visited his family in Rostock. His father, a trained cook, took care of the festive meals. “It was too tasty to say no,” says Ludtke, who has meanwhile returned to Dresden.

The start of EM was supposed to be given in mid-January in Saxon City. But the continental title fights have been canceled due to the pandemic situation. Polish runners prepare for the Winter Games in Beijing on the Elbe River.

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Adrian Lüdtke would like to celebrate his return to the World Championships in Montreal (Canada) at the beginning of March. What impresses on the short track is the speed and pressure the athletes feel as they slide into turns at 60 km/h and the competition. “You do not turn one man against one man, but against four or five.” The nuances are often crucial as to who has the runners up front. Whether it’s ice quality, runners, or mental strength — “many factors come into play,” says Ludtke.

Sports is his passion. It has not been decided whether he will make a new attempt to participate in the Winter Games as a short tracker in 2026. “Let’s see how everything develops in Germany. Perhaps I will try something else again.”