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On Hallerstraße with Moritz Fürste

Every hvv switch point is a story in itself - and an invitation to make a point. More than 130 hvv switch points in Hamburg offer a variety of ways to get from A to anywhere. We introduce you to exciting people from Hamburg - on their routes through the city. This time: Moritz Fürste, Olympic hockey champion and founder of the Hyrox fitness competitions.

When it comes to hockey in Germany, there's no getting around Moritz Fürste: he won Olympic gold twice with the German team - in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012. Plus bronze in Rio in 2016. He has also won several world and European championship titles in field and indoor hockey.

But the Hamburg native is more than just a top athlete: with his company Hyrox, he has been organising sporting events since 2017 - and they have become a hype far beyond Germany's borders. "Hyrox Championships are held in Sydney and New York as well as Taipei and Dubai. Thousands of people gather in halls at the events to push weights, row on machines, run and measure their strength. Two world championships have now even been organised. One of them in Las Vegas, where the athletes who travelled to the event occupied an entire casino hotel. "All events are actually similar: a large hall, then 2,000 to 12,000 people. But that was something special - bringing so many people from all over the world together in one place just five years after Hyrox was founded," says Mo. What started in Hamburg is now an international movement.

We meet Mo Fürste at the hvv switch point on Hallerstrasse. The wind makes the February air even colder than it is, and rain drizzles from the sky in droplets. Mo arrives with a white Olympic cap on his head and a coffee to go in his hand.

Mo, you actually live in Hummelsbüttel. Why are we meeting here?

Hallerstraße is an important place for me, especially in terms of mobility. I moved to Rotherbaum after school, to my first flat of my own. Until then, there was really only one means of transport for me: the bicycle. I cycled to school and training with my brother almost every day, a total of 26 kilometres. That changed completely when I moved to the city: I entered my "train phase" and only travelled by public transport. My flat was right next to the underground station and my agency was only two stops away. I left my flat, grabbed a coffee at Swedish Cream and off I went for the day.

You could have travelled two stops by bike - why did you switch?

Probably because the comfort of getting on the train with your bag and baggage and not arriving sweaty and wet is just too great. When I think about it: I don't think I've ever travelled to the office by bike once...

And today?

I still often get a coffee here in the morning - even though it's actually a total diversions, because I drive from Hummelsbüttel to the office in Ottensen... But the morning coffee here has been a tradition for 15 years.

And you make the journey by public transport?

No. I now have children and am in the "car phase" (laughs). When I'm not travelling, my day starts during the week with my daughters' school run: they cycle and I jog alongside them. Then I get in the car and drive twelve kilometres to the office in Ottensen. It takes a really long time with the rush hour traffic, but I don't mind: I relax and listen to podcasts on the journey.

Which ones?

Lots of sports podcasts from the USA, including two NFL podcasts about American football - but that depends on the season. Right now, for the Superbowl. But I also listen to the German NFL podcast, SWR2 Wissen and other pretty diverse programmes.

How often do you use car sharing?

Maybe once or twice a month when I'm travelling in the city - often in combination with the train. I've always found it super practical for travelling to the airport, but we now live in Hummelsbüttel and therefore unfortunately outside the car sharing business area. I got to know and appreciate car sharing when travelling. My first journey was in Munich many years ago - and I still use it regularly when I'm there. Incidentally, I'm also an e-scooter fan - right from the start. It's two kilometres to the nearest S-Bahn stop where we live, which is too much effort for me on foot...

As a hockey player, you used to travel the world a lot. You now organise over 60 events a year with Hyrox. How many do you take part in yourself?

I would say around 15 a year, luckily we now have good teams in the various markets.

You organise competitions that combine strength and endurance sports. How did you come up with this idea?

My founding partner, Christian, recognised early on that there was a gap in the world of sport: Combining running and fitness in competitions. Just running or just pumping - that's incredibly unhealthy, everyone knows that today. But there was no competitive sport that combined the two. And that's how it started.

How do you explain this rapid success?

We were right with our hypothesis. You can also see this from the fact that we don't have to spend an insane amount of money on marketing today. In 2023 we had 45,000 participants, in 2024 there will be 240,000 globally and in 2025 we expect over 400,000. The great thing is that we sell a product that is addictive - once you join, you'll come back. And it's healthy too, because we motivate people to do sport. Not just on this event day, but throughout the year, because you have to train a lot beforehand.

Speaking of sustainability: is sustainability also important to you when it comes to mobility?

It's a big issue for our company. We drive equipment on nine trucks all over Europe for the events. If we're travelling to Asia, everything goes on a ship. Here we look at how we can optimise everything sustainably in the respective departments. In my private life, I can't afford to travel sustainably... In other words, I don't want to allow myself to do so - you have to be honest about that. I want to spend as much time as possible with my family. So I'd rather fly to Munich than spend six hours on the train and be back with my two daughters and my wife in the evening.

Is there a place in Hamburg that you particularly like?

My home! Then the Uhlenhorster Hockey Club, where I've been active all my life. But to be honest, I also like being in the office.

And a public place? Some park, lake, something like that?

If I tell you, everyone will go there!

Hockey player and Olympic champion Moritz Fürste

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