by Simon Daish
Holger Nikelis is one of the best known Para Table Tennis players in the Class 1 category, having won two gold medals in the singles competitions at the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games alongside two World Championships gold medals and seven European Championship titles in a highly successful career.
However, the 12 time German champion Holger Nikelis wasn’t able to defend his Olympic title at Rio 2016 following his group stage defeats to Hungary’s Endre Major and Joo Youngdae of Korea Republic. Nikelis has now decided to bring his international status to a close.
“After careful consideration, I have decided to end my international wheelchair table tennis career after 20 successful years. Looking back at this intense and special time remains one thing: a little pride in what I was able to experience and achieved. I have won the Paralympics two times, and have became champion of the world and above all I have had many unique and great experiences” – Holger Nikelis.
The year 2012 saw Holger Nikelis form a foundation with the aim to help encourage young people with disabilities to become more involved in sporting activities. Nikelis will continue to promote his message of inclusion even after his exit from the international spotlight.
“The topic of inclusion and the sport of handicapped people are still very important to me. In this respect, with the team of our initiative, we will continue to push boundless projects and thus reduce prejudice, overcome barriers and create enthusiasm for the sport for handicapped people” – Holger Nikelis.