Altenberg mayor Thomas Kirsten bids farewell after 32 years, Photos: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis

Altenberg (RWH) For 32 years Thomas Kirsten led the town of Altenberg as mayor. On 2 September, Kirsten, also a friend and supporter of sliding sport for decades, officially bids farewell. In summer 2022, the mayor did not stand for re-election due to his age. "We thank Thomas Kirsten for his great commitment to the sport of bobsleigh and skeleton during his more than 30 years in office as mayor in the winter sports region of Altenberg," said IBSF President Ivo Ferriani. "Also thanks to his great passion for the sport, Altenberg hosted seven World Championships, four European Championships and almost as many World Cups as years in office. Of course, this has contributed to the worldwide fame of the small town in Saxony. Thomas Kirsten has made a significant contribution to the development of the sport of luge not only for Germany but for the whole world."

Since 1990, the beginning of Mayor Kirsten's term of office, the Altenberg icetrack has been the venue for the 1991 and 2000 Bobsleigh World Championships (men), the 1994 and 1999 Skeleton World Championships (men) and the joint Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships in 2008, 2020 and 2021. Altenberg was the venue for the European Championships in 1995 (Bobsleigh Men), 2004 (Skeleton) and in 2005 and 2012 for all disciplines of the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation IBSF. In January 2023, Altenberg will once again host the European Championships in the bobsleigh and skeleton disciplines. These will be held as part of the second of the two World Cups that Altenberg will host in the winter of 2022/2023. Among the thousands of spectators who traditionally flock to Altenberg during major events, Thomas Kirsten will certainly be there again - not as mayor, but as a sports fan.

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