Team Sanofi Coach
Sport: Wheelchair Basketball
Age: 51 years old
Cause: Advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and access to sport.
Nicolai is an important figure of wheelchair basketball in Germany and Europe and a strong advocate for those living with disabilities – helping raise the profile of wheelchair basketball and para-sports in general. He's fiercely committed to making sports accessible to all.
Nicolai has been playing and coaching wheelchair basketball since 1994. In 2006 he became Assistant Coach of Team Canada men. Since 2010, he is the Head Coach of the German Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. He's also the Head Coach of RSV Lahn-Dill, one of the most successful teams in Germany and Europe, from 2006 until 2017.
Throughout his career as coach, Nicolai has been national champion eleven times, Champions Cup Winner in 2010, 2012 and 2015; World Champions Cup Winner 2010, European Championships 2011 (Silver), 2015 and 2017 (Bronze). Nicolai coached at four different Paralympic Games.
“In a diverse life you don’t have to speak about disability or gender. No excuses. – Everything is possible - Diversity in Life is like wheelchair basketball. Inclusion is reached when you don’t have to talk about it anymore”, says Nicolai. Now, after almost 20 years of experience, he's working on establishing a coaching association in Europe for wheelchair basketball. He's also passionate about promoting social inclusion for people with disabilities through sports.
WORLD TRACK RECORD
- 11-time German League champion with RSV Lahn-Dill as Head Coach
- Wheelchair Basketball Champions Cup winner as Head Coach of Lahn-Dill in 2010, 2012 and 2015
- Wheelchair Basketball World Champions Cup Winner as Head Coach in 2010
- European Championship silver medalist (2011), bronze medalist (2015, 2017) as Head Coach of the German National team