Peter Joppich is Germany's Golden Boy. He is born to bear gold medals and mesmerize the crowd with his golden hair.
I was a fan, and so were many of my peers. A younger teammate of mine even had "Joppich" added to his middle name of his Facebook profile! Don't believe? Amita can verify.
But beyond the medals, there was one thing that I've consistently heard when Peter's success was spoken of. Peter he is hard-working. No, he isn't "just talented", he worked hard.
When I had my wrist injury and sought some downtime from training, Dr Gabor Salomon, who used to work with the German and later, Singapore team, pointedly told me that Peter did 3 hours of footwork all by his own with a stopwatch in hand when he had his arm injury. He did so continuously until he was ready to get back to his regular routine.
So here it is – my little walk down memory lane of Peter Joppich.
I’m excited to meet him and his family when they visit in August, and I’m excited that you’ll get to train with him when he does so. May you witness first-hand the character and attitude of an incredible fencer, gain from his experience and training, and still be mesmerized by his golden hair.
Here's a video of his bout with Lei Sheng at the 2010 World Championships.