The name Schmiech commits: 15-year-old Julian Schmiech imitates his father Daniel in the kayak

Photo: Seidel, Ralf

Julian Schmiech took a closer look in his basement, which is used as a weight room. The souvenirs from the father’s successes are visible there. That Daniel Schmiech was Sportsman of the Year in Unterland six times is more clear to his son than to his father. “I could not have said right away how often it was me,” says Daniel Schmiech.

More than 20 years ago, Schmiech the Elder was one of the most successful canoeists in the country. Was junior world champion in double kayaking, military world champion. The next generation should continue the Schmiech dynasty in the canoe. Daniel’s father (nicknamed Owl), uncle and brother Oliver were already successful. Now it’s the next generation’s turn, embodied by Julian (15), Fabian (9) and Philipp (5).

Longer than the father at the same time

As a 15-year-old, Julian Schmiech is further ahead than his father was, he says at least. He is one of the best in the country. Last weekend he won the German canoe marathon championships for TSG Heilbronn in Kassel. First in individual over 16 kilometers, the next day he added the next title in a double kayak with his Würzburg partner Roan Schulze also over 16 kilometers.

Now the Leingarten natives are aiming to take part in the Summer Olympics in Hope in Bratislava. “Olympia is a goal that motivates you – it’s still a long way off, but it’s in the back of your mind,” says young Schmiech. It is quite common for the son to be approached by competitors: “My father drove into yours,” they say.

At boarding school in Essen or Mannheim?

The name Schmiech commits: 15-year-old Julian Schmiech imitates his father Daniel in the kayak

Training partners: Daniel (left) and Julian Schmiech. Photos: Ralf Seidel Photo: Seidel, Ralf

Julian is a talent that arouses desire. Tenth grade at Elly-Heuss-Knapp-Gymnasium in Heilbronn will still not give in to the courtship from Essen or Mannheim, where he could live at a boarding school. “I want my own rhythm,” says Julian Schmiech, who trains twelve hours a week. Partly still jogging before school, spending free school hours in the gym and in the afternoon can be found at Neckar near Heilbronn.

Going abroad must be well thought out. “For me, the kink came with the Bundeswehr’s sports promotion group,” Daniel Schmiech looks back. The old GDR school educationally was nothing for the now 46-year-old. Too many volumes, but not intense enough: “It was not something for me.” But it is also clear that lone fighters far from the academies and the Olympic bases sometimes have a harder time because there is no lobby. That’s why Schmiech spends every holiday in Karlsruhe and Mannheim and works on himself with state coach Volker Lambeck.

Under one roof with the home coach in Leingarten

In Leingarten, Julian lives with his home trainer under the same roof, at TSG Heilbronn the training conditions at Neckar are good. Schmiech senior first found his way back aboard the Corona period because all other sports opportunities were eliminated from one day to the next. At the time, the boat was secretly launched at Klingenberger Steg: “There were no training opportunities,” says Daniel Schmiech, CEO of an industrial flooring company in Leingarten.

Both are the same as types. Just not on the water. “I would win anything up to 80 meters against him. Then it hurts. Unfortunately, the kayak sprint is 200 meters long,” says Daniel Schmiech. “I always need a little longer, I prefer the long distances,” says the son. The father has great confidence in the junior when it comes to a career. 30 percent is talent as a basic requirement, the rest so diligence and a little luck. “Many clever books have been written about canoeing, but the principle remains the same: the gods put sweat before success,” says Daniel Schmiech.

Difficult transition to the active area

To be among the international elite, you must first reach the national top level in canoeing. The transition from youth to active life is difficult. “If you have not reached it by the age of 20, then it will be difficult,” Daniel Schmiech looks back,

An internal family goal is still lacking when it comes to selecting athletes from Unterland. The young athlete does not lack big goals. “Of course I want to win the case seven times, of course,” says Julian Schmiech – laughing.

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