Sven Hannawald – from Germany’s Sports Personality of 2002 to famous Top-Speaker

19. June 2016 – Katharina Schlangenotto

Sven Hannawald is a so called exceptional talent: Grand Slam Winner To Win on all Four Hills 2002, Winner of the Four-Hills-Tournament 2002, World Champion, Olympic Gold Medal Winner, Winner of the World Cup and for sure a sportsman who was and is still loved by German people and media. Germany called the young ski springer lovingly “Hanni” during his successful times and many could hardly believe that exactly funny and always smiling Sven Hannawald was knocked down by the pressure that a life in competitive Olympic sports brings along.

In 2004, Sven Hannawald was confronted with a part of himself that he never knew before: him, who was always in a good mood, always ready for a joke despite of the pressure around him and, above all, could always trust his intuition, felt totally lost inside. Pictures of that time show a very skinny, insecure and sunken faced young man searching for help. All the sudden, the pressure that he knew from childhood onwards as he was brought up and trained in former East Germany, crushed on him.
Today, he is able to talk about those times. He explains that he always loved what he did, that it kicked him and that he never wanted to do anything else. Pressure and hard training were part of his life and he never considered it to be heavy and stressful. But then, an inner restlessness started to unfold and there was no way to stop it. He seeked help at doctors but no one was able to help him. He was devasted and finally found support at a therapist specialised on psychosomatic disorders.

After his comeback into life, he was mainly asked about his illness, he would sit in talkshows, feeling the need to tell his story to help and support others going through the same. In 2013, he finally published his first book about his life and everything that he had faced and learned.

Until today, Sven Hannawald believes that the topic “burn-out syndrome” will remain an important one as present times are unstable, full of insecurity, speed and pressure. Still, many people feel that weakness is something that is not to be admitted.

He now advises companies and coach executives and is active as a TV pundit. He speaks at moderated business panels, fireside chats, workshops and seminars and talks about the milestones of his globally unique sporting success, his mental illness and how to find a balance in between life and extreme sports and pressure.

In his speaches, he talks about success, motivation, defeat, mental strength, fitness, work-life balance, corporate health, health, stress, team, family, change management, fair play.

Get inspired by an exceptional sportsman who has seen it all: world class  achievements as ski jumper as well as mental breakdown, inner struggle and the hard way back back into an happy life.

Get in touch with us and find out more about Top-Speaker and former famous ski jumper Sven Hannawald. Contact us via phone or email at:

Sven Hannawald

World Champion, Olympic Gold Medal Winner, Winner of the World Cup