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Germany's Arnd Peiffer competes in the Men's Biathlon 10 km Sprint at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 8, 2014 in Rosa Khutor. (AFP Photo / Odd Andersen)

February 8, 2014

Russian skiers help out German rivals

German skiers were surprised by support from the rival Russian team after requesting equipment to prepare their skiing gear. The request was denied by Switzerland and Austria. Germany had its own grinder machine which broke on the eve of competitions.

“I and we all in our team have never experienced such a special situation, such a kind of fair play,” president of the German Olympic Sports Union (DOSB), Alphonse Hermann, told RT. “The Russian friends were full of trust in us. They gave us the key so it was possible that our team last night prepared the skis.”

Germany had 40 pairs of brand new, uncut skis for its athletes in the disciplines of biathlon, cross country skiing, and Nordic skiing. When their equipment could not be properly prepared with their own grinder, they turned to fellow teams.

If Russia did not step in, the German skiers and biathletes would not have had an opportunity to train before the first day of competitions, due to the team’s broken grinder machine.

The Russian team’s assistance gave the German biathletes and skiers an opportunity to train on Friday.

Although the Germans would have still been able to ski, their performance would have been compromised, Chief Engineer of the German Ski Association (DSV) Enrico Heisig said.

"You have to take into account so that the Russians have to help a direct opponent in the competitions. You have made us ultimately back strong," Alphonse Hermann added.

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