What does Nina Kristof want on her 18th birthday on August 17? In fact, only one seat was reserved for them on the plane. In the direction of Calgary as the World Championships begins three days after their nativity celebration. The opponents of the German national team are Japan, Czech Republic, Denmark and Hungary. Immediate preparation for title fights will begin in the Canadian province of Alberta at the beginning of August.
Because of the pandemic, Hammelberger moved from the junior division to the women’s team almost in secret. The current session at the Federal Base in Füssen, where the 17-year-old is the youngest after Svenja Voigt (born 2004), runs until July 17. Anyway, she feels in good hands. “They are all very cute. Captain Julia Zorn in particular takes care of the little ones.” Twelve units await 25 players and three goalkeepers on the ice, comparisons to U20s from EV Füssen and U20s from ESV Kaufbeuren plus team building day. “A bike tour is planned. And then there will be a barbecue at our Equipment Manager Siggi,” Nina Christof is looking forward to some relaxation.
The quintet should stay at home
Since coach Thomas Schadler can only take 20 players with him to Canada, Nina Kristof wants to make the best possible impression on and off the ice, even if the level is far above the junior level. “My goal is the World Cup. And if possible, I want to be part of the national team at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Everyone would be disappointed if they weren’t there,” confirmed the striker from Lower Franconia, who has been in the USA – Rochester since 2016 in Upstate New York – I attended high school and graduated there the next year.
Thanks to a scholarship, the 17-year-old has already been accepted into college in Albany. And with it the opportunity to continue playing ice hockey at a high level. “In North America, women’s ice hockey is much better promoted than in Germany, and above all there are more ice rinks,” says Christoph, who played for ERV Schweinfurt in her youth.
In mid-June, Nina Kristof came to her family at her home in Lower Franconia, along with all her ice hockey equipment. In order to stay fit, it was sometimes for a sprint in the vineyards around Hamburg, and sometimes on the sports field or in the swimming pool. “But it also allows walking longer distances to make the joints stable,” says Nina Kristof, who works with a personal trainer in the US and recently won the 2021 Hammelburg Athlete of the Year. “It really surprised me. Anyway, I was very happy with this confession.” In addition, the student got a job on vacation in the supermarket. “My boss is really nice. Sometimes I get to know my former teachers. Sometimes people who know me from their local newspaper approach me.”
Nina Kristof embodies a good mix of ambition, conviction and looseness, who doesn’t want to put herself under too much pressure when it comes to starting a World Cup. “In American sports they say: Pressure is a privilege. And that’s what I live for. As long as I can snowboard, I’m happy. Getting this far is a good thing.”