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Germany

The athlete: Anne Sauer from Tauberbischofsheim

Anne Sauer's life plays out at home with her family, at school, and at the training hall. The high school student trains at one of the world's most successful fencing clubs in the Swabian town of Tauberbischofsheim.

smiling Anne

Anne likes to relax and put on a friendly smile

"The early bird catches the worm," the saying goes. That may well be, but that's not the reason Anne Sauer gets up every morning at 6:00 a.m. The young woman with the long brown hair and nice smile simply doesn't like any stress in the morning.

She begins her day with a leisurely breakfast with her mother and her 16-year-old brother. Her mother is an office clerk and her father is a truck driver, meaning he's only at home on the weekends.

Every corner of the Sauer family home seems inviting and cozy, as does the entire village of Reinhardsachsen, Baden-Wuerttemberg. With its population of 200, it only just got fast-speed Internet access. Mobile phone reception? Not here!

anne loading the trunk of her car

Anne has her own little car so getting around in a rural area is easy for her

But this is where 18-year-old Anne Sauer grew up, and she's attached to the place. So much so, that she's refused to move closer to her school in Tauberbischofsheim, instead opting to drive 70 km each day in her car.

School and athletics – a fine balance

Anne stows her big travel bag with her school things and sports equipment in the trunk of her dark blue Ford Fiesta. Then, it's off to the business-oriented high school she attends in Tauberbischofsheim – around a half hour's journey.

Tauberbischofsheim is a small town with around 13,000 residents, but it's a giant in the world of fencing. Its fencing club is world renowned, due to the numerous Olympic medal winners it's produced. In Anne Anne's class, there are others who've caught the fencing bug. And the young student has already decided that once she's at teachers' college in Wuerzburg studying German and Sport, she will continue to pursue fencing.

Second home

At 1:00 p.m., when her classmates are heading home, Anne Sauer goes to the fencing club, which is an Olympic training center. She doesn't just train there, she also does her homework.

anne in the classroom

Anne spends her mornings in the classroom

But before it's time for that, she joins her friends for lunch in the cafeteria. The staff there serve up sport-friendly food and lots of salad. Anne doesn't think much of diets, though. She admits that she could never give up eating chocolate, not that you'd notice she has a sweet tooth just by looking at her. The athletic teenager trains too hard for that. Even on Sunday, when there's no fencing training, she likes to play soccer.

If Anne has difficulties with her homework, she can consult with the teachers at the club. She's grateful for the support provided at the Olympic training center, and makes generous use of it: she's never shied away from asking questions.

Tough but fair

Her training program starts at 3:00 p.m. - lessons with a personal trainer, massages, and a weekly appointment at the psychologist. "A fencer has to be in shape - both mentally and physically - in order to perform well," says Anne.

anne in the gym

Anne spends most of her time with sports

Everything runs according to a finely tuned training plan. Before the two-hour group training, there's a light evening meal at 5:00 p.m. Anne Sauer makes do with half a sandwich; she wants to be fast and light on her feet in the hall. There, it's really demanding: posture, steps, concentration – everything has to be perfect. And when Anne and the other girls don their armor, they fence as if they were in competition: mercilessly.

Time to unwind

What Anne Sauer most needs after a day like that is time to relax. She gets home at around 9:00 p.m. Her mother and brother are expecting her, as is the family's cuddly Giant Schnauzer, Mia. They make themselves comfy in the kitchen and tell each other about the day's events. Anne always has a lot to tell.

There are also snacks aplenty – including chocolate, of course!

Author: Yardanka Yordanova (dc)
Editor: Rina Goldenberg

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