“The thoughts are free” says an old German folk song, but apparently these thoughts do not include thoughts of love.
That is the experience of 23-year-old Olympic rower Nadja Drygalla, left the Olympic village in London after it was revealed that she has a boyfriend in Germany’s far-right political scene.
Drygalla is in a relationship with Michael Fischer, a local member of the “National Socialists of Rostock” and the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD), for which he unsuccessfully ran for the state legislature last year.
Drygalla’s relationship with Fischer has been an open secret since last year, even though the Olympic Committee claims no knowledge of it. A year ago, Drygalla suddenly resigned her career with the police where she was also active in the police’s own sports association.
Her superiors apparently asked her to quit due to her affair with Fischer, since Lorenz Caffier, interior minister of the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, has been pursuing a hard line when it comes to neo-Nazis in the police.
After news of the liaison started spreading through the team, the German Olympic Sports Confederation’s chef de mission, Michael Vesper, called Drygalla in for a discussion. “She explained the matter from her point of view. I made the problem clear to her. We then spoke intensively about the overall situation and her own position,” Vesper said.
Drygalla however denied holding any racist attitudes and reaffirmed her allegiance to the Olympic Charter, but at the end of the discussion she announced her departure for home.
Vesper said: “I have no doubt that she not only stands upon the foundation of the German constitution but also on that of the Olympic values.”
Drygalla will therefore never represent Germany in any competition again.