Social media has completely changed the way people live, and that includes athletes. Back in the day, only the best of the best received endorsements, but now with the addition of platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook, the game has completely changed. There are more ways for athletes to use their image and likeness to generate income outside of competing. A prime example of this evolution is German track star, Alica Schmidt.
Without social media, many Americans probably wouldn’t know who she is, so without further a do, let’s get to know more about Alica Schmidt.
Schmidt’s early life and introduction to track and field
Born in Worms, Germany in 1998, Schmidt has always been a gifted athlete. As a child, she ran so much that her parents often had to tell her to slow down. While on vacation, Schmidt caught the eye of professional sprinting coach, Thomas Kremer. He was impressed by her movements and suggested that her parents sign her up for track. At the age of seven she began competing in races.
After high school, in order to take her career to the next level, Schmidt moved to Potsdam to train with Brandenburg Athletics Association. After a year in Potsdam, it was apparent that Schmidt had a chance at making the German national team, so she moved to Berlin to train with the SCC Sports Club. While in Berlin she became a star for Germany’s U-20 and U-23 teams, racing in the 200,400 and 800 meter events. While the middle distance races were her bread and butter, Schmidt also competed in the hurdles and as a jumper.
2020 Tokyo Olympics
Because of her social media presence and her impressive track record, many believed Schmidt would be a breakout star at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Unfortunately for Schmidt and the other athletes, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Olympic committee to postpone the games. Schmidt had spent years training for this moment, all for it to be pushed back.
At the beginning of the lockdown Schmidt was forced to train by herself, outside of Germany’s facilities. Because she didn’t have a track to run on, she often ran through the forest. Due to Germany’s swift reaction to the outbreak, the country was able to open up quicker than others. Upon her return to the track, Schmidt said “I can finally train on the track again. The last month I did everything alone or in pairs outside. I am so happy to be able to train in the stadium again as usual even if nature was not that bad for the training session.”
While she hasn’t officially qualified for the 2021 Olympic Games, don’t be surprised to hear all about her this summer.
Schmidt’s Instagram following
Like other pro athletes, Schmidt has capitalized on her success in competition to build a gigantic social media following. While it doesn’t hurt that Busted Coverage named her the World’s Sexiest Athlete in 2017, it takes more than beauty to gain so many fans. When asked how she feels about that title she said “I do not know why I got this title. Sport comes clearly first.” Schmidt also denies the notion that her looks are the only reason for her large following. She says “there are thousands of girls on Instagram who look good and still do not have as many fans.”
A quick scroll through her Instagram will show you photos ranging from her training, to modeling and even outtakes from her vacations. As Schmidt’s following grew so did the number of endorsement requests.
No matter what sport you play, if you’re a professional athlete, you want one of the major athletic apparel brands to sponsor you. Even though she was relatively new to the pro circuit, Schmidt landed an endorsement with Puma. Not only does Alica Schmidt wear Puma while training and during competition, she also models their clothing and starred in a commercial. The commercial went viral, getting written up by sports websites worldwide.
On top of Puma, Alica Schmidt’s Instagram is filled with photos featuring various brands. She posts ads for food companies such as Food Spring, Frosta and Sugar Dad, a candy company from Europe. Because traveling is such a major part of her life, she was overjoyed to promote a hotel brand called Unique.
In 2020, Schmidt was hired as a trainer by Borussia Dortmund, one of the best soccer teams in Germany. In addition to training the players, she also appears in instructional fitness videos with the team. At one of the team’s practices she even challenged Mats Hummels to a 400m race. Despite Hummels being a very fast guy, Schmidt won in a landslide.
What’s next for Alica Schmidt?
While her future appears to have a lot in store, it’s pretty clear that Schmidt has one thing on her mind – the 2021 Olympic Games. Schmidt still needs to qualify, but many expect her to make the cut.
Even if she somehow doesn’t compete in Tokyo, you should definitely expect to see more of the rising star in the future.