Olympia 2021: Florian Wellbrock – The tragic story behind his tattoo

“For me personally, this is a bit of my summer fairy tale today,” said Florian Wellbrock (23) on ZDF when he won GOLD over the marathon distance of 10 kilometers.

Wellbrock, our king of the waves!

Little is known about the swimming star’s private life. He’s been through a lot – ups and downs. He hardly ever talks about the stroke of fate that the man from Bremen had to cope with when he was only nine years old. Even after his Olympic victory, he didn’t want to say anything about it.

A sad look back: Wellbrock lost his then only 13-year-old sister Franziska on December 14, 2006. She collapsed during the TSV Osterholz Christmas swim in Bremen’s Tenevar pool after her competition in the 200 m individual medley. All attempts at resuscitation failed. According to the Magdeburger Volksstimme, the exact cause of death remained unclear, the family had waived an autopsy.

“It was a shock to have lost the sister. But I didn’t really get it right. I just kept going. And I don’t think that it has shaped my personal development, ”Wellbrock once told the Magdeburger Volksstimme.

Wellbrock had a line from the song “Fühl dich frei” (Feel free) tattooed on his chest by rapper Sido in memory of his deceased sister: “Enjoy your life all the time, you are dead longer than alive.”

The tattoo can be seen over his right chestPhoto: Matthias Schrader / dpa

Wellbrock later moved to the sports-oriented school in Bremen, which his sister had also attended until her death. His parents were initially concerned about this. “Franziska was very popular and the school was in shock,” said father Bernd: “But Florian really wanted to go there.”

Today, double world champion Wellbrock is a swimming star, taking bronze in the 1500 meter freestyle in Tokyo before winning the gold medal.

For the German Swimming Association, it is the first Olympic victory since Britta Steffen’s successes in Beijing 13 years ago.

Here is the complete one Time schedule with all appointments, sports, decisions and the TV broadcast.


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