Alumni athletes
European Bobsleigh Champion Johannes Lochner

“I will continue to bobsleigh for as long as I study”

Johannes Lochner
26. Feb 2018  |  
Reading time Min.

As the pilot, Johannes Locher has to be able to rely completely on his team (photo: IBSF- Viesturs Lacis).

It was almost enough: Electrical Engineering student Johannes Lochner and his team barely missed a medal and finished eighth in 2019. But at the Olympics it’s all about being there. It is not always easy to combine studies and top-class sport. In his case, however, it goes together better than you think.
For more than three years Johannes Lochner and his team have been working towards the Olympic Games of 2019. “It’s always been a dream of mine to be at the Olympic Games, and we’ve known since last year that we would be going there this time. I can’t imagine anything greater than this!” Even though they will return home without a medal, it has still been a dream come true.  

140 km/h ON THE TRACK

Lochner started out with his uncle, the successful bobsleigh athlete Rudi Lochner, who urged him to try out the sport. After the first time, there was no doubt in his mind: “That’s what I want to do.” However, he admits that you have to be an adrenaline junkie to really have fun at the sport. At over 140 km/h in the bob track, that’s hardly surprising. Every winter means intense training on the local track at Königssee, athletics training and competitions on weekends. Victory is often his, for example at the World Championships in 2017, when he won the World Cup with his teammates, or recently at the European Championship of 2020 in Winterberg. In Pyeongchang he ultimately failed on the track. Now, after the Games, comes the analysis of what went wrong. And will go on and continue fighting. “That’s all you can do”.

Lochner im Bob
In the curves the forces exerted are seven times your own body weight (photo: IBSF- Viesturs Lacis).

Athletics training, sponsoring dates and improving the sleigh: that’s what Lochner’s summer looks like. And he also studies Electrical Engineering at TUM. The perfect combination for him: “If my life was all about sports, it probably wouldn’t be much fun for me. I have university in summer, where I can give it my full attention, and then in winter it’s time for sport again. This changeover is the perfect balance for me.”

It´s always about technology.

Johannes Lochner

A basic understanding of physics and technology is important for Lochner – both in his studies and in bobsleighing. It’s much easier to explain and deduce why and how things work or what makes the bob fast, which lines are good. It’s always about technology.” On the other hand, his sport plays a role in his studies and he is already thinking about possible developments for bobsleighing, which he wants to write about in his master thesis.

Studying with the tight training schedule is not easy – also because some lectures are only offered in the winter semester. And “if you don’t listen to lectures at all, it’s always difficult.” However, cancelling his studies is not an option for him. Especially since he only needs two exams and the master thesis to graduate. “These are just the kind of challenges I have to think about how to cope with. But after the Games, I wonder whether I might even put off one winter and just see it through to the end, or whatever.”


No matter what, he wants to work in his father’s planning office in the field of electrical planning. “There are several paths I can take, all of which end up somehow in the same place, so that I can join my father’s company.” He can’t imagine working as a full-time trainer later. But he would like to help young teams as a consultant “with know-how, offering advice on tracks, technical questions and materials”. He himself is grateful for the support he has received from experienced and successful bobsleigh riders. “I also had someone who always supported me and who brought me up in the field of bobsleighing as it were. That’s exactly what I could imagine doing myself.”

Johannes Lochner

Olympic champion and TUM alumnus Johannes Lochner (Picture: IBSF- Viesturs Lacis).

Johannes Lochner

B.Sc.Electronic Engineering and Information Technology 2015


For Johannes Lochner, studying and bobsleighing go well together and complement each other. After his participation at the Olympic Games of 2019 in Pyeongchang, he wants to take a holiday in the USA and Cuba, maybe even take a season off to finish his studies. “Who knows how long I’ll continue with the bob. But I will continue to bobsleigh for as long as I study.”

And it does pay: Again he and his team won the European Championship in 2020.