President Joachim Gauck on Wednesday presented all Germany’s Olympic and Paralympic medal winners with the Silver Laurel Leaf for their services to Germany. But there was one notable absence.
The 22-year-old Storl was denied the honour because he shot at a dog with an air rifle in an ill-advised incident a year before the Games, Bild newspaper reported on Thursday.
Storl was reportedly seen taking pot-shots at the dog with a friend on June 2, 2011, at his training ground in Chemnitz. He was training to be a police officer at the time – and although the dog’s owner reportedly decided not to to press charges, the incident was recorded in Storl’s file.
That is apparently where the presidential office learned of the event, and it appears to have cost Storl a handshake from the president.
“It is a case-by-case check – the severity of the misdemeanour, whether there are victims, and how long ago the incident happened are all taken into account,” a spokesman for the president said.
“I don’t want to comment on it anymore,” Storl told the paper. “I can only say that I have regretted it for a long time.”