High Honor for Austrian Medal Winners of the Tokyo Summer Olympics

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: August 13, 2021; 12:03 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen held a reception at the Vienna Hofburg for the Austrian medalists of the Tokyo Summer Olympics. At the reception, Van der Bellen and other officials honored the seven athletes led by gold medalist Anna Kiesenhofer.

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen (left) and gold medal cyclist Anna Kiesenhofer (right). / Picture: © www.bundespraesident.at / Peter Lechner / HBF

For the first time since 2008, there was a big reception from Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen after the return of the Austrian athletes from the Summer Olympics. This was due to Austria’s success in Tokyo, where its athletes received seven total medals–one gold, one silver, and five bronze.

Led by gold medalist Anna Kiesenhofer, the medal winners were honored by the president in the Vienna Hofburg. Of the seven medal winners, only Michaela Polleres was missing due to being abroad.

President Van der Bellen, Minister of Sport Werner Kogler, Minister of Defense Klaudia Tanner and the Austrian Olympic Committee (ÖOC) leaders paid tribute to Kiesenhofer and the other medalists with many appreciative words. The President was particularly pleased about the medal of the Tyrolean Jakob Schubert in the new Olympic discipline of climbing. He called Kiesenhofer’s winning of the gold medal on the opening weekend “a pleasant shock.”

Kiesenhofer, who works as a mathematician in Switzerland and shocked the world’s most elite cyclists by winning as an amateur, doesn't really enjoy the unfamiliar hype surrounding her. She said, “I'm not the type who likes to be in the spotlight.”

ÖOC chief Karl Stoss presented Kiesenhofer with philharmonic coins worth €17,000 as a reward for her achievement. Silver medalist Polleres received €13,000, and the five bronze medalists Magdalena Lobnig, Bettina Plank, Shamil Borchashvili, Weißhaidinger and Schubert each received €11,000. ÖOC President Stoss emphasized that Austria should be incredibly proud of its athletes, saying, “This deserves a celebration.”

Office of the Austrian Federal President