"Sport comes clearly first" – Alica Schmidt on becoming a global sensation

Athletics - Day 9 - European Championships Munich 2022
Alica Schmidt (Image via Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

German 400m sprinter Alica Schmidt is one of the most popular faces from the world of track and field sports. With medal-winning performances in the 4x400m relays at the 2017 European Athletics U20 Championships and the 2019 European Athletics U23 Championships, she has remained an integral part of the German Athletics team.

She was part of the national team for the Tokyo Olympics but did not compete. However, she was seen in action at the 2022 Oregon World Championships.

In 2017, the Australian magazine Busted Coverage called her the 'World's Sexiest Athlete'. The title has stayed with her ever since. On social platforms, the tag may have preceded the sprinter's athletic achievements, but for her, the sport always comes first.

"I do not know why I got this title. Sport comes clearly first. There are thousands of girls on Instagram who look good but having many fans doesn’t make you interesting. That's just competitive sport for me."

During an interview with The Free Press Journal in 2020, Schmidt was asked if she liked the title or found it misogynistic. She responded that while she didn't ask for the tag and there are always two sides to everything, it helped her grow her Instagram account, allowing her to focus on training without having a side job.

"I didn’t ask for the tag and as for everything there are two sides of the coin. The 'title' helped me to grow my Instagram channel which allows me to focus on my sports without having a side job."

However, Schmidt added that the title sometimes overshadowed her athletic improvements.

"And sometimes it is lost in the process that I have greatly improved my athletic performance and that I am studying on the side. But I certainly don't want to complain."

Reportedly, she turned down offers from Playboy and other magazines to focus on track and field.

When Alica Schmidt defeated Mats Hummels in a 400m race

Alica Schmidt and Mats Hummels (Image via OtakuKart)
Alica Schmidt and Mats Hummels (Image via OtakuKart)

In 2020, Alica Schmidt was invited by the German football club Borussia Dortmund as a fitness coach to train some members of the team, as part of a commercial engagement.

Thomas Meunier, Felix Passlack, Manuel Akanji, along with Mats Hummels were some of the footballers she trained. During this engagement, she went up against Hummels in a 400m race and put to end all the debates of whether footballers are faster than actual track athletes.

Alica Schmidt easily finished the quartermile as Hummels gasped for breath. He said:

"I really underestimated that."

The entire video of the race is on Schmidt's YouTube channel.

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She was later asked by the Free Press Journal if she would challenge Jadon Sancho or other fast footballers to a 400m race. She replied that she had no intention of racing against other Bundesliga players.

"For once I was very grateful that Mats was immediately ready to embark on this adventure. At the moment, I have no ambitions to compete against other Bundesliga players, but maybe that will change."

Alica Schmidt was very humble when it came to talking about her comfortable win against Hummels. She said that he already wanted a rematch and she would be ready when they compete again. The German sprinter also added that she believed that he had the ability to win.

"In any case, Mats has announced that he would like a rematch and I am of course ready for that at any time. Mats is a very ambitious guy, who knows? Maybe he will even win next time. The first time he ran 400m was against me."

Schmidt is now completely focussed on the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics and is training with the ambition of competing and winning a medal there.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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