• Germany edition
 
The Year in Review
The Local's top ten sports stories of 2012
Photo: DPA

The Local's top ten sports stories of 2012

Published: 27 Dec 2012 08:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Dec 2012 08:25 GMT+01:00

It was a bumper year for European sports fans, with the London Olympics and the Euro 2012 football championship - but it wasn't always a shining trail of glory for Germany's athletes. The Local looks back at the year's sporting highs and lows.

While the national football team reached the semi-finals at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, for the pundits it felt like the "golden generation" squad had underachieved.

And though Germany finished a solid sixth in the Olympic medals table, with 11 golds and 44 medals in all, the final tally was well below expectations. There was disappointment at the failure of the swimmers in particular to make a splash.

Elsewhere, illustrious eras ended in both football and Formula One, as the long, battle-scarred careers of Michael Ballack and Michael Schumacher finally drew to a close, while one of the country's most illustrious motor racing tracks faced financial meltdown. Here's our review of the sporting year:

Before the summer of sport even started, German spirits were laid low after Bayern Munich were bashed at home in the Champions League final:

Misery in Munich after Chelsea win Champions League

And then even before Euro 2012 got going, the controversy of Ukraine's human rights record took hold. There was even talk of boycotting the tournament because of the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. We asked you to have your say:

Should soccer be used as a political football?

And the German team got into an unseemly row with Germany's Central Council of Jews over a visit to Auschwitz:

German team hits back at Auschwitz visit criticism

In the competition itself, the much-fancied, well-oiled German machine ended up being dumped out by some old rivals:

Ciao! Italians kick Germany out of Euro

The Olympics were not without controversies of their own, first because a star high-jumper had to deal with a stalker who sent her pictures of his genitals:

Stalker fined for sending genital pic to high jumper

And then Ex-Olympic rower Nadja Drygalla made headlines when she left the Games - or was forced out - because it emerged that her boyfriend was a neo-Nazi. We asked you if athletes can represent their country regardless of who they mix with?

Can a Nazi's lover represent Germany?

Team Germany may missed its medals targets, but the London Olympics brought many tears of joy and despair:

Germany's triumphs and disasters at London 2012

Elsewhere in the sporting universe, German motor sport was rocked by the financial woes and possible demise of one of its most venerable race tracks:

Iconic Nürburgring track heads into final lap

And an F1 legend took his final bow:

Schumi calls it a day

As did another sporting hero - former national football team captain Michael Ballack. And it turns out he was more hard up than many imagined:

Ballack: I'm too poor to pay speeding fine

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:35 December 28, 2012 by herr x
who's the hottie in the pic?
18:30 January 5, 2013 by bugger
I have no idea, but I might be in love with her.
Today's headlines
German of the Week
'It's important people are confronted with cancer'
Photo: Marina Proksch-Park

'It's important people are confronted with cancer'

Images of children with cancer often evoke weakness and defeat. But Marina Proksch-Park shows them enjoying life. The photographer who has sparked an online campaign with her pictures is The Local's German of the Week. READ () »

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo
Yasar Calik. Photo: Facebook/Yasar Calik

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo

A Christian Democrat (CDU) town council candidate has apologized and withdrawn campaign bags on which he had printed a new party logo where the Turkish crescent appeared inside the "C" for Christian. READ () »

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand
Lufthansa's daughter company Germanwings is one of the faster-growing budget airlines in Germany. Photo: DPA

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand

Budget airlines are expanding their range of routes from Germany but ticket prices are climbing along with them, a report from the German Aeronautics Centre (DLR) revealed on Thursday. READ () »

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened
Bernie Ecclestone with his lawyers in a Munich court on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. READ () »

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Photo: DPA
National
Girls find live ammunition in Easter bonfire
Photo: Facebook/screenshot
Berlin
Germany's most viral advert for an apartment?
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,077
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd