Rio de Janeiro, 09/08/2016

Bertelsmann Employee at the Paralympics

From left: Marc Puškarić (Head of the Bertelsmann Corporate Center in São Paulo), Markus Rehm (long jumper), Friedhelm Julius Beucher (President German Disabled Sports Association), Vanessa Low (track and field athlete), Klaus Jakob (RTL), Denise Schindler (bicyclist and RTL employee), Angelika Bade (former RTL editor), Perdita Müller (Group Representative for Employees with Disabilities of Bertelsmann) and Hubert Mönikes (Deputy of Perdita Müller)

Subject: Society, Employees
Country: Brazil
Category: Project

The 15th Paralympic Games festively opened yesterday in Rio de Janeiro, and the competitions begin today. More than 4,300 athletes from 176 nations – 155 from Germany alone – will compete in 22 sports until 18 September. Denise Schindler is competing starting on day one in Brazil: the successful bicyclist and employee of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland has her first qualification race on the cycling track today before taking to the road net week. A team of the Group Representatives for Employees with Disabilities of Bertelsmann is also on site. The employees will produce daily TV contributions about the games and athletes for the news channel N-TV and the Bertelsmann website "Handicap TV"  .

Denise Schindler: "I really look forward to the Paralympics. The pieces of the puzzle are now all coming together, and I am really ready to get started. I feel physically and mentally fit." That’s no surprise, after all: the transtibial amputee para-cyclist started intensive training in 2015 and prepared for the Paralympics in Brazil over the past few months by competing in numerous national and international championships and in several training camps. "I trained especially hard this past year, and all signs were set for Rio. I’m very content with my training times and physical and mental fitness, so I will start with a lot of optimism and hope to win one or several medals," she says. "The fact that I won medals at all of this year’s important races naturally motivates me a lot. I was able to compete nationally and internationally and get a sense of my chances in Rio," Denise Schindler happily adds. She won a silver medal in the road race at the Summer Paralympic Games 2012 in London.

"An incredible opportunity"

Without the support of her employer – Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland – and the Representatives for Employees with Disabilities on site as well as her colleagues, her participation in Rio de Janeiro would not have been possible, Denise Schindler clarifies: she was able to take a one-year sabbatical inn order to engage in the intensive preparations. "An incredible opportunity," she emphasizes. Like many of her fans, Bertelsmann’s HR Chief Immanuel Hermreck and RTL Group Co-CEO Anke Schäferkordt are keeping their fingers crossed for the athlete: "On behalf of Bertelsmann and also personally, I wish you lots of success, the necessary luck and good health so that you will be able to deliver your top performance and achieve your athletic goals," Hermreck says. Anke Schäferkordt adds: "From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the entire team at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, I wish you lots of success, luck and great moments at the Paralympics in Rio! You have admirably demonstrated positive energy and a fighting spirit throughout your career as an athlete."

N-TV has been broadcasting TV contributions since this morning on a daily basis at 9:20 a.m., 10:20 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. that the team of the Group Representatives records and edits on site. The team consists of the Group Representative for Employees with Disabilities of Bertelsmann, Perdita Müller, her Deputy Hubert Mönikes, RTL sports reporter Klaus Jakob, cameraman Clemens Prumbaum and the former RTL editor Angelika Bade. The videos are processed and forwarded to the employees of N-TV by students of the RTL School of Journalism. Longer video clips can be viewed starting later in the morning on the websites of the Group Representative Office for Employees with Disabilities (; the G+J subsidiary Territory fulfils this task.

The Group Representative Office also plays a role in organizing the "Bertelsmann Evening" at the German House in Rio de Janeiro this Sunday; preparations are in full swing. Together with the Head of the Corporate Center of Bertelsmann Brazil in São Paulo, Marc Puškarić, Perdita Müller will welcome numerous athletes and representatives of Brazilian and German industry, naturally including Bertelsmann companies, on 11 September in Rio de Janeiro. Andreas von Thien, Sports Director of RTL and N-TV, will host the evening.