Nothing interests the media more than a scandal, or so it seems. When the German rower Nadja Drygalla left the London Olympic Games in August when it was revealed that her boyfriend – and ex-oarsman, too – belonged, or had once belonged, to a far-right, neo-Nazi, party, the German and international media were all over the place to scrutinize her. Surely, Germany could not have a person rowing for her country if she had far-right political views, the story went… Well, Drygalla had never had any neo-Nazi political views, and the only thing one could maybe say on one hand was that she had a poor judgment choosing a boyfriend, but on the other hand, the party he (once) belonged to was ‘politically correct’ enough to have seats in some state parliaments, but not on a federal level.
After a several hour hearing conducted by the German Rowing Association, Deutscher Ruderverband, in September, the organisation’s president, Siegfried Kaidel, told the media that the Association stood behind Nadja Drygalla. Then on 1 November, news came that she has been allowed to join the German Military, the Bundeswehr, which in its ranks has around 744 athletes training while they are soldiers. This is a way for those top sportsmen and -women without a big-money sponsorship behind them to still be able to focus on their sport. This cost the Bundeswehr and German state about 32 million euros ($41 million) per year.
Read more about Nadja Drygalla and the Bundeswehr here.