Luge athletes Toni Eggert (35) and Sascha Benecken (33) will no longer be able to fulfill their childhood dream of Olympic victory. The two-seater couple from Thuringia declared their own sports career to be over.

The decision had matured over the past few weeks and months, explained Eggert. After more than 13 years in the World Cup “it’s time to open up to new chapters”. He celebrated 54 World Cup victories with Benecken, and the two exceptional athletes won the overall World Cup six times.

Farewell to doping control

“I can say that last night was very restless,” said Benecken. “You can definitely compare it to a pre-competition night.” On Monday evening he even got a doping control in the house. “Well, I actively lived out the active life of a competitive athlete up to the very last second.” The resignation is now a big step.

At the luge world championships on the home track in Oberhof, the duo had won their fifth title in a row at the beginning of the year. As a 17-year-old, Benecken had contributed the World Cup song (“Adrenaline”) with his band in 2008. “As I was writing, I always imagined what it was like for those who compete for the big titles,” he said. The fact that it worked out in 2023, 15 years later, “is the fulfillment of a childhood dream”. After all, it is not a matter of course to become world champion on your home track.

Eleven world titles and two Olympic medals

“I see it with a bit of sadness, but that’s the reality. There is also life after sport,” said national coach Norbert Loch on the announced resignation of the consistently successful duo. Overall, the “Thuringia Express” won eleven world titles, as well as Olympic silver in Beijing (2022) and bronze in Pyeongchang (2018). Bayern Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt grabbed the gold twice.

“I like to compare this relationship with a marriage, only that it is even more exhausting,” said Eggert and Benecken once in unison. Now the sporting end has been reached, the footsteps they leave behind are big. “Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken have set standards and are sporting role models for future generations of lugers,” said Einars Fogelis, President of the International Luge Federation.