Die Anfängerin: Christine Stüber-Errath's Remarkable Comeback

World Figure Skating Champion Christine Errath

Talk about a comeback! In a forthcoming feature film, 1974 World Champion and 1976 Olympic Bronze Medallist Christine Stüber-Errath will mark her return to the ice in a film directed by Alexandra Sell. The plot of the film centers around a doctor (played by Katrin Sass, who was lauded for her role in the 2003 film Good Bye, Lenin!) with an unfulfilled dream of becoming a figure skater. Sass' character was forbidden by her mother to take up skating despite being a huge fan of Errath's own skating in her youth. Taking up skating in her late fifties, Sass' character ends up meeting the very skater she admired most on the ice and forming a bond with the former skating star. It's really a fascinating story. You've got two ladies in their late fifties - an actress who has never skated before and a World Champion skater who hasn't performed in decades both coming together in the most unexpected way.

World Figure Skating Champion Christine Errath

The film is based on over three years of copious research of figure skating by director Alexandra Sell. One of the main inspirations for the film was Stüber-Errath's 2010 book which recounted her career in skating and paid tribute to her late coach Inge Vishnevsky. "I am honored that such an exceptional athlete as Christine takes part in the film project," said Sell in an interview with German newspaper Märkische Allgemeine. Sell's previous film credits include the 2005 documentary Durchfahrtsland.

Christine's bronze medal winning free skate at the 1976 Winter Olympics

Though this is essentially Stüber-Errath's first feature role in a film, she's no stranger to German audiences even in recent years. Errath works in television and hosted the popular entertainment show Außenseiter Spitzenreiter with Hans-Joachim Wolfram. She started preparing for the role in September 2012, taking her first skating lessons in decades with Heidemarie Walther-Steiner once a week to prepare for the film role. Even more remarkably is the fact her comeback started in the same skates than won her an Olympic bronze medal. She later got new ones for the first time in thirty seven years for the film. "My Olympic skates have simply not fit. After fifteen minutes on the ice, my feet were numb," stated the former three time European Champion. I think it's wonderful to see a skater who has been away from the ice for so many years return and can't wait to learn more about this film. It sounds like it has the makings for something truly special.

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