2011, August - Freyburg /Unstrut (Germany)
Interview with the many times German Senior Champion of artistic gymnastics, the 86-years old Johanna Quaas from Halle (Saxony-Anhalt), at the 89th Jahnturnfest in the Jahn City of Freyburg.
* Translated interview:
Q: If there were World Championships or European Championships, you would be a candidate for a title, I would say. Is that the case?
J.Q.: I would love to compete with others and I always regretted that there are not even European Championships, not to mention Worlds for seniors (=elderly). In every other sport that is the case just not in gymnastics.
Q: In the world of gymnastics you have been known for a long time. For those who don't know this: you started quite early. In the fifties you were one of Eastern Germany's top gymnasts.
J.Q.: No, not really, I just was "Oberstufe" (pretty high level in there system but not quite elite). But I started out playing handball until 1954, and there we were Eastern German Champion in 1954, with the team of "shoe-metro" in Weissenfels.
Q: But in gymnastics in Halle...
J.Q.: Along the way a started doing gymnastics, that was allowed then. Then I did actively gymnastics until 32 or 33. Also at "Wissenschaft Halle" (the Club "science" of the university), back then. But then I restarted at the age of 56 years.
Q: A last word to Quaas and Freyburg. How does this match together? For ever, right?
J.Q.: Yes, forever, since I restarted gymnastics I was back here every year. And I love it, because one can do gymnastics outdoors, and as always the weather is beautiful.
Q: Yes, and the gymnasts deserve that.
Q: Thank you very much, all the best, and where do we see you again?
J.Q.: The next one is "Schnepfenthal", I like going there, too. That's in the region of GutsMuth (an 18th century pioneer in gymnastics) and also Friesen worked there (early 19th century pedagogue). And I always like it there, too. Also senior championships. But from the championships I want slowly to retire, I think that was long enough now.
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