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27 February 2019 | in Winter Universiade, Figure Skating, FISU Athletes

Figure Skaters, movie stars & students: Kati & Tim

When the German University Sports Director Thorsten Hütsch says he expects ‘three to five medals’ in Krasnoyarsk, he also mentions a few names he’s counting on. Among the 24 German athletes who will compete at the Winter Universiade 2019 are the Ice Dance duo of Katharina Müller and Tim Dieck, who finished just off the podium two years ago in Almaty.

“Both could improve a lot in all areas, but certainly have the ability to attack the medal positions,” hopes Hütsch.

 

Tim and Kati, as she is known, are taking this pressure in their stride.

 

“This time we know what to expect,” says 22-year-old Tim, referring to their experience at the last Winter Universiade where they had finished fourth. “We definitely want to do better this time. We are in good shape right now.”

 

Kati explains further. “Two years ago, we were taken by surprise a little bit, by the scale and size of the event,” she laughs. “We hadn’t expected something so big. I just can’t forget the opening ceremony and the first time we went on the ice for the short dance. There were 12,000 pairs of eyes and they supported all the athletes, no matter from which country…”

 

“…It was an amazing experience,” continues Tim.

 

The pair has left no stone unturned when it comes to preparation for their season and for the Universiade. Since last summer they have shifted their training base from U.S. to Moscow, Russia. They are acutely aware of the standard of figure skaters in Russia and believe the home teams will be their strongest competition in Krasnoyarsk.

 

“The Russians will not make it easy for us,” Kati chuckles.

 

“But our biggest competitor is ourselves,” Tim says quickly. “Yes, there are three Russian couples who are really good but we have skated against them already this season. If we do our job and do our best, we can definitely finish among the medals.”

 

Kati agrees, saying “Actually we know we’re at a good level right now and we just need to show what we are capable of.”

 

It’s hard not to root for this endearing pair as one senses their excitement and optimism.  

 

“My parents will come to watch us compete,” Kati says. “They haven’t seen me competing for a long time now. We also went to the European Championships but for some reason they could never watch me skating at a big event. I really hope they get tickets for the event!”

 

She is referring to the near sold-out status of the Figure Skating competitions in Krasnoyarsk. Hugey popular among locals and foreign spectators alike, Figure Skating finals have been deemed a ‘high demand event’ where even the media are not assured seats.

 

“I’m super excited,” says Kati with glee.

 

There’s more excitement happening right about now and it’s not just in the ice rink. Interestingly enough, Tim and Kati are starring in a film by critically acclaimed director Anca Miruna Lazarescu and the movie – Happiness Sucks – opened just a few weeks ago. So how exactly, did that happen, in the midst of training and all?

 

“Around a year and a half ago, we heard there was a movie casting being held close to our home town,” Tim recounts. “They were searching for figure skaters to play figure skaters! We were cast as we were perfect for the role.”

 

“It’s a tragic comedy. Tim plays a superstar in the movie,” Kati adds playfully.

 

In addition to practice and training and playing superstars in movies, the duo also keeps their eye firmly on the ball when it comes to academics. Tim studies Media & Communication while Kati is doing Sports Science.

 

“Our academics are our airbags,” she says with German pragmatism. 

 

They have their heads on their shoulders and eyes on the goal. Which is why when they say they can win a medal in Krasnoyarsk, one should believe them. They will be in action in the Platinum Ice Arena, starting 6 March. The entire competition schedule can be found here

 

The stunning Platinum Ice Arena is also the venue for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Universiade 2019. See what makes it so grand, in the video below. 

 

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