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Professional sportsman Joel König stands up for climate protection as myclimate ambassador

Joel König, the young professional badminton player from Basselland, is using his influence as a public figure to set an example by fully accepting his responsibility for the protection of the climate and preservation of our ecosystems for future generations.

Photo: Kurt Frischknecht

Ever since he was a child it has been important to Joel König to take responsibility for the environment. In light of this, he has been offsetting his flights to tournaments for years with myclimate – out of personal conviction: “In my opinion, the price of transport by air, land and water does not accurately reflect the true costs. In economic parlance, these are known as ‘external costs’, i.e. ecological and social consequences, which while caused by the actions of individuals (e.g. consumption), are borne by society as a whole.” As a competitive international sportsman, avoiding air travel entirely is not possible for Joel König, so carbon offsetting is his best option for paying for his emissions and balancing the external costs of his air travel.

Since January 2019, Joel König has been a myclimate ambassador for effective climate protection. He carries the message of sustainable behaviour on his tournament shirts with conviction. Recently, we had the chance to ask him a few questions.


Sport and sustainability; in addition to offsetting the unavoidable emissions from your flights, what do you do to raise awareness for the topic of sustainability / to keep your carbon footprint as small as possible?
First and foremost I take care to eat regional food that is in season. I am also an enthusiastic user of public transport and don’t fly to faraway places for my holidays. I want to be a role model by acting responsibly, both in my private life and as a sportsman, and to be an advocate for sustainability, our environment and now myclimate too.

Sport and coronavirus; how has coronavirus changed your everyday routine and training?
Since I am a professional sportsman, I am permitted to train during lockdown (such as in spring 2020 or right now). But I must still be very flexible and plan for the short term. With conditions changing all the time, we are constantly moving to new halls and cantons. The logistical support provided to us by the association throughout this time has been great. Aside from this, there are currently no tournaments at which I can test my performance. However, less travelling means I need less recovery time.

How are your preparations for the 2021 Olympics going? How are you dealing with the current uncertainty surrounding planning?
I had already completed two thirds of the qualification phase before the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to gain the points required for a good final stretch. The fact that this intensive time has now been interrupted for a year is allowing me a kind of fresh start, and my entire focus is currently on getting as much as possible out of the third and final part of the qualification phase – as long as coronavirus doesn’t ruin too many tournament events.
 

Prize draw: “Badminton Clinic” or a “Professional Work Out”

Send us a short answer to info@myclimate.org. Those who get in touch will be in with a chance of winning a meet & greet with Joel König (date and location tbc, in strict compliance with the applicable Corona measures). Choose between a private hour-long badminton or athletic fitness training session with SYPOBA – both include a follow-up chat over tea or coffee in the region of Zurich, Basel or Bern.

Website Joel König

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