Four pairs of brothers and sisters strive to bring seven medals back to Germany. Whether they cheer each other on from the stands, work together or fight like kids growing up depends on the sport.
Lado Fumic takes the lead against his brother Manuel
Markus Dieckmann (right) and partner Jonas Reckermann have good medal chances
Germany’s other set of twins, Christoph and Markus Diekmann, will be facing off against each other on opposite sides of the beach volleyball net. Until 2000 the two couldn’t be separated, but their path split after failing to qualify for the Sydney games. Markus, the four-minute older brother, teamed up with Jonas Reckermann, while younger Christoph found a new partner in Andreas Scheuerpflug.
Markus and Reckermann have turned out to be the more successful team: they won the European Championships in 2002 and 2004. But in the seldom head-on duels Christoph relies on his nine centimeter advantage to come out ahead. Christoph swiped the German title from his big brother last year. An Olympic rematch would put the twins’ prominent parents -- mom is the mayor of Bonn and dad is North Rhine-Westphalia’s finance minister -- in a tough spot since volleyball never ends in a tie.
Avoiding sibling rivalry
Defending Olympic champion Andreas Dittmer of Germany
While the Fumic brothers and the Rockmeier and Diekmann twins participate in the same sports, competing with each other and at times lending a helping hand, that's not the case for Germany's other sibling Olympians: Andreas and Anja Dittmer.
The two of them have solid chances to bring home medals to proud parents, but because of event scheduling neither will be able to share the glory of gold with the other. Andreas will be racing the canoe rapids, and Anja will swim, bike and run her way through the triathlon.
Andreas’ chances look better this year, in Atlanta and Sydney he won the 1,000 meter one-man canoe events and no one has beat him in the discipline for the past four years in World or European championships. His sister will have a more difficult time of it – in Sydney she placed 18th – but a World Cup win five weeks ago in Hungary certainly lifted her spirits. Now she knows she can beat anyone in the world – hopefully after her brother paddles his way to gold.