Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther high on fitness walking with poles
If you ever need confirmation that Nordic Walking is as appropriate for world-class athletes as it is for the rest of us, consider Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther, two German ski team stars of the 1970s. In addition to two gold medals and one silver at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Rosi has a US connection, “Gold Rosi,” as she was nicknamed, won the last of 10 World Cup races before retiring from ski racing at Copper Mountain, Colorado. The resort named a trail Rosi’s Run in her honor.
The couple is into Nordic Walking and has been for a number of years. Their sport shop in Germisch-Partenkirchen stocks Nordic Walking poles and accessories. They have co-authored two Nordic Walking books, one a technique book and a second specificially about Nordic Walking for back health.
They promote the sport around the country with grace, humor and inspiration. One YouTube video shows them doing just that, and another video shows them leading 700 Nordic Walkers on an itinerary that ends in their town. Seven hundred Nordic Walkers at once. North American promoters of the sport can only dream of such numbers.
The Turn- und Sportverein, the local Garmisch-Partenkitchen sports club that was founded back in 1899, offers a series of six Nordic Walking classes for 12€ plus 5€ for use of poles during the entire course for TSV members, 18€ for the course and 10€ for the poles for non-members.
Mittermaier and Neureuther don’t teach the classes — one Elvira Witting does. But wouldn’t it be fine if the German ski stars would come to Colorado for a Nordic Walking session — just for old time’s sake?