In the mixed situation, you can quickly lose track: Tim Dieck (27) was born in Dortmund – and Germany’s best ice dancer. After the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022, Dieck separated from his German partner Katharina Müller (27) and met the Englishwoman Olivia Smart (26), who competes for Spain.

She actually wanted to switch to the German association because of Dieck. The best German ice dancer has been training with Smart in Montreal/Canada since this year. There the decision was made that in the future both will dance for Spain on the ice. Because the German Skating Union (DEU) remained financially too vague.

“Our priority was very clear to start for Germany. But after months of talks, the DEU remained too vague in financial terms, so we started negotiations with the Spanish association, for better or for worse,” explained Dieck.

The “world’s best ice dance school” is based in Montreal. With training in Canada plus travel to competitions, the costs per season are up to 100,000 euros. “The DEU offer would not have even covered half the costs, we would have had to pay for our trips ourselves,” says Dieck, who defends DEU President Andreas Wagner. “He was very understanding in the talks.” Spain is now paying all the costs in full.

Wagner describes Dieck’s change as a “great loss. We very much regret not being able to keep him, but financially our hands were tied.” Dieck would have wished for more appreciation. “I had classified my standing in the GER differently. I had to take this step.”

In Montreal he has his old Spanish school books with him, in August there will be the first test competition for the new dream couple. Dieck: “I can’t even imagine walking in with the Spanish flag on my chest for the first time. But I’m looking forward to it. I don’t have to memorize the anthem. It’s instrumental.”

Dieck and Smart are only a couple while dancing. “Neither of us are the types who mix private and professional life. But we’re both good actors too. On the ice we play the perfect pair!”