I slipped when I
was a small, two-year-old child. It was mid-winter, in the city center of Chemnitz, Germany. It was
pretty bad luck because just at that moment, the tram came around the corner and struck me. The
following year was long and left my parents in a constant state of hope and trepidation, wondering if
their child was going to make it and what the consequences would be if I did? But I did make it – far
beyond anyone could imagine!
» The Consequences.
Alright. So the accident did leave some damage, but thanks to my parents'
unwavering dedication and the outstanding medics and medical technicians (Especially Prof. Dr.
Nerlich from Regensburg University and Mr. Thomas Wellmer from Nittenau Rehabilitation Technology
Center), I am standing on my own "two" feet again and standing fairly strong. I learned what it's
like to be disabled at a young age. The accident cost me my right lower leg and today I wear a
prosthesis. My left leg was also affected by the accident and is not fully functional due to the
metal rods in my ankle.
» Denise and Sports?
Sports and I weren't friends for a long time – perhaps because I had to go
"under the knife" one or two times a year until the age of 12. And considering the small amount of
PE class I was actually able to participate in during school, the "kick" just wasn't there. I first
experienced the thrill of sports after taking my secondary education Abitur exams. It was then when
I discovered the spinning bike at the fitness center. One day, while listening to energetic workout
music in a group cycling workout, it suddenly clicked – I wanted to ride a real bike, and I wanted
to ride in the woods. I never knew how much potential and skill I had on a mountain bike! After I my
first Alpencross, I knew that was it – Denise will never stop spinning!
» To (High-)Performance
My path to performance sports took many detours. Biking friends made me
aware of my uphill and downhill skills and told me about performance sports for the physically
disabled. It was with this friendly hint that I began taking a new path. Since 2011, I have been
training with a clear goal in mind. Ever since then, I have been competing fairly with other
athletes – and successfully ;).