Not everybody manages to combine a course of studies and competitive sports. TUM-student Carina Wimmer is a sports shooter as well as a Bachelor’s student of Health Sciences. In March, she participated in the World University Shooting Sport Championships in Kuala Lumpur. In this interview, she tells us more about her unusual pastime.
Carina, how did you get into shooting?
Carina Wimmer: My mother was a sports shooter, and she always took my twin sister and me along to the shooting range. As soon as we were allowed to shoot ourselves, at the age of ten, we both tried shooting. In the first two years, we only went to the shooting range for fun, in our free time - but we were pretty good, so we slipped into the performance squad at some point.
What does it mean to be a sports shooter on the level of competitive sports?
At the age of 16, we both joined the national squad. This meant more training, as we also had training session on weekends - and we took part in many national and international competitions, which we always had to balance with school. We trained a bit less when preparing for our Abitur, but we were able to hold our level. After leaving school, we decided on a career with the Bundeswehr, because there is a specific sports support program. My sister had to quit after one year, for health reasons.
Why are you still a student at TUM?
Thankfully, the Bundeswehr is so open that they allow athletes to take up a course of studies alongside competitive sports, allowing me to pursue a dual career: I can already orient myself towards possible fields of profession while focusing on competitive sports at the same time. If you don’t manage to keep your level of performance, the Bundeswehr might decide not to provide support any longer, leaving you without job training and career prospects. I’m a student of Health Sciences. The course of studies takes a holistic approach, which I think is a good thing, because you can specialize in different fields later on.
You took part in the World University Shooting Sport Championships in Kuala Lumpur as part of the German team in March. How did it go?
I really had a good time in Kuala Lumpur. I managed 4th place with the air pistol - really close, unfortunately - and 12th place with the small caliber, but I am very satisfied with my overall performance. The Student World Cup is a great opportunity for young competitive athletes to gain international experience. Due to the high humidity, we had unusual training conditions. Alongside the competitions and the training, the German team was also able to visit the city together - an opportunity for team-building beyond the actual competitions.
What are your next steps?
The competition season is starting right now. In the summer, there’s the next World Cup - and before that, of course, the qualifications and many international tournaments. That’s why I have to train every day, about 35 hours a week: shooting, but also endurance training, for example. In the long run, I would like to keep on shooting as long as I feel able to improve my performance and to work my way up to the world elite. For sport shooters, the performance peak is in the late twenties or early thirties - with only a few exceptions - so I have good chances of reaching my goal.
(Interview: Sabrina Czechofsky)
Carina Wimmer (22, from Mühldorf am Inn) is currently living in the Olympiadorf, close to the physiotherapy and training facilities. 80 percent of her time is spent on training, but she tries to meet her family and friends as often as possible and to pursue her passion for cooking.