Frankfurt / Main » Breathtaking pirouettes, rapid step combinations, wild jumps in brightly colored costumes, plus music from the Bee Gees or Jean-Michel Jarre – Norbert Schramm turned to figure skating into art on ice.
Classic was for the others, his style was not staid. “I was lucky enough to be able to celebrate my success at a time when our sport was set up differently than today,” Schramm said in a conversation with the German Press Agency. Back then, individualism and creativity counted more. It was a long time ago, it was the 1980s – today Schramm is celebrating his 60th birthday.
“I can identify well with the fact that I should have been an artist on the ice,” said Schramm. «Later I became a life artist at times and then a survival artist. I’ve lived through everything that has to do with art. »
His way of running earned him the European championship title in 1982 and 1983, as well as World Cup silver in those years – and the great recognition of one of the greatest creative figures in figure skating. «A runner like Norbert Schramm is unstoppable. You can stop an athletic machine, but not the art, »once said Canadian Toller Cranston, who died in 2015. “He was the counterpart to Katarina Witt in the west,” said Udo Donsdorf, sports director of the German Skating Union about Schramm, whose amateur career came to an abrupt end in 1984.
After critical comments about the ice skating association, he could not convince athletically at the winter games in Sarajevo, only came in ninth and resigned after the World Cup in Ottawa – where he refused to start in the compulsory competition at that time. Schramm was just 23 years old at the time. «The tide had turned against me. I was suddenly the bogeyman, ”said Schramm.
He switched to show business and entertained the audience with more than 2000 performances at “Holiday on Ice”. This was followed by engagements as artistic director of an ice show in Europa-Park Rust or on the TV show “Dancing on Ice”.
But there were also setbacks in Norbert Schramm’s life: he suffered two facial paralyses and had to deal with two divorces. He was looking for himself on long journeys through South America or on walks over 800 kilometers on the Way of St. James. «If it were theoretically over tomorrow, I would have had an interesting and varied life. I could go there too, ”said Schramm.
Figure skating, its successes and its show talent have opened many doors and possibilities for the native of Nuremberg, who lives in Karlsfeld near Munich. The driving forces were his creativity, imagination and understanding that his sport was above all art. “We wanted to be as different as possible from our competitors, everyone tried to find their niche.”
He is no longer fascinated by today’s figure skating and the series of triple and quadruple jumps. “When you’ve seen a runner, you know everyone. This makes it boring, »said Schramm. After a colorful life, he now works for a real estate company in the sale of age-appropriate apartments – and looks back calmly: «It’s like in sports. You break new ground, try a lot, and if you fall, you get up again. »