„Die Norm“ – The Road to Rio

„Die Norm“ – The Road to Rio

Is taking part really everything?

About two month ago the German movie project “DIE NORM – Ist dabei sein wirklich alles?” started playing in cinemas. The movie is part of a multimedia project that followed select German athletes during their preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Overall, DIE NORM captured the life of elite athletes in 47 episodes, 62 online diary entries, over 100 blogposts and one movie.
The directors aim wasn’t to merely document athletic success, but rather to give a realistic insight into the life of elite athletes, what drives them and how do they cope with failure. The movie can be seen as a peek behind the scenes. If you followed the female beach volleyball competition during the Olympics, you will recognize the gold medal winners Kira Walkenhorst and Laura Ludwig participating in the project. The documentary provides insight into the physical and psychological demands elite athletes face every day to reach their goals. Director Guido Weitermüller about his project:

We want to describe the development of an athlete and show them in the centre of the extreme environment that is elite sport.

The main characters of the movie are long jumper Sebastian Bayer, swimmer Jacob Heidtmann, rower Tim Ole Naske and the male beach volleyball duo Lars Flügge and Marcus Böckermann. Besides documenting the part of life dedicated to sport, the movie also shows some aspects of the athletes’ private lives. Particularly the story of Sebastian Beyer, demonstrates impressively how thin the line between athletic success and failure really is, and how closely their linked to the athletes health. After a long season of hard training and chronic problems with his thigh, the long jumper finally tore a muscle fibre, which meant he was unable to fulfil the qualifying norm.

This is where the HITG project comes into play. We aim to evaluate and improve long-term health of elite athletes, who have dedicated years of their life to their sport. By analysing long-term health outcomes and potential risk factors, we want to help improve preventive strategies and decrease risk factors for injury and illness.

To achieve our goal, we need your help. Are you a former elite athlete? If so, please support our aim and register here.


The goal of the Head in the Game project is to evaluate and improve long-term health in elite men's and women's football. The main question we seek to answer is: does a professional football career have any consequences for the musculoskeletal or neurocognitive health of former players?

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