Everything is possible: Floeth

Everything is possible: Floeth

Two-time world champion looks to leave a mark in Bangalore

Everything is possible: Floeth

“I was a good handball player. And I liked handball very much. I was tall (185 cm) so it was easy to play handball. I was doing my routine exercises before a match when I felt a pain in my right leg.

“However, I played that match and we won. Then after somedays the pain became more and then I consulted a doctor. After several tests he told me that I have bone cancer,” said Floeth, who is here to compete in the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) Games.
The dreaded disease not only hindered her dreams, but also cost her right leg below the  knee. “I did chemotherapy but wasn’t successful enough to cure it fully. Finally, the doctor told me it is better to amputate the leg so your life will be saved. So I decided to have it amputated. And I lost my leg at the age of 19 and so I was forced to quit handball,” added Floeth, who had played handball for German state Leverkusen.

The devastating blow pushed Floeth into dark cells of depression for eight years.
An accidental meeting with another paralympic athlete, finally, showed her the way forward.
“It was a painful experience. Even though I lost my leg I am happy that I am still alive. For eight years I wasn’t doing anything. But my life again blossomed after meeting a disabled athlete during a private function.”
Floeth turned into a paralympic athletic in 1997 and tried her hand in shot put and discus throw.

“My first athletics meet after becoming a paralympic athlete was a local meet in Germany. I didn’t win any medal there but it was totally exciting for me,” said Floeth, who married German team physio Uerich Niepoth in September.
However, Floeth didn’t have to wait for too long for a medal as she stood on top of the podium for the first time in Sydney 2000 Paralympics and she completed a grand double four years later in Athens.

“Then I realised everything is possible if you have a positive frame of mind.” Floeth became a world champion in the 2002 World Championship in France and successfully defended her title in The Netherlands in 2006.
The 40-year-old Floeth, who won the shot put and discus throw two years back at the IWAS Games in Chinese Taipei, is a trainee of World javelin throw champion Steffi Nerius.

“I am working for handicapped athletes from 2000. But well before that I started coaching disabled athletes. Floeth is a good athlete, tall and determined to put in 100 per cent effort each time she competes. These athletes can perform like a normal sprinter or thrower. They need only motivation and support,” said Steffi.
DH News Service