German pair skaters Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel are looking back on their most successful season yet. After winning two medals at the Challenger Events, the team went on to take the bronze at the Grand Prix in France. They also captured the bronze at the European Championships in Espoo and rounded out their season with a clean free skate at Worlds in Saitama, placing ninth overall.
The promising young team from Berlin has improved significantly since relocating to Bergamo, Italy, to train last summer. However, decreased funding of the German Skating Union has created a lot of challenges, not only for them, but for all German skaters. For example, they will no longer pay any expenses at Challenger Events or the costs for the coach at Grand Prix events as they have in the past.
In this interview, the German champions explain their situation and touch on possible consequences. They also talk about the state of the sport of figure skating in Germany and express their hopes for the future. They reveal what motivates them to continue and discuss plans for the off-season and their next goals for their skating career.