Sporting events in Germany: always on the edge of your seat ...

Faster, higher, stronger – and above all more exciting! That just about sums up sport in Germany, from packed football stadiums and motor racing weekends watched by hundreds of thousands of people to the world's biggest sailing regatta. For visitors as well, the Olympic motto says it all – being there is everything!

Those three magic letters DTM once stood for Deutsche Tourenwagen-Meisterschaft (German Touring Car Championships), a competition that began in 1984 with production-based cars.The Meisterschaft has since changed to Masters, and the DTM is now the most popular international touring car race series. It is considered the premier event of touring car racing and is one of the biggest sporting events in Europe.

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Burning rubber and roaring engines: hundreds of thousands of motorsport fans flock to the Nürburgring or Hockenheimring for the German Grand Prix, the annual race in Germany for the Formula 1 World Championship. The world's biggest motor racing event is huge among racing fans in Germany. Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel are regarded as national heroes, having won nine Formula 1 titles between them.

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The Grand Prix weekend at the Sachsenring racing circuit in Hohenstein-Ernstthal promises adrenaline-pumping action on two wheels. This is motor sport and entertainment at its very best with a high-calibre line-up in the World Championship classes Moto2, Moto3 and the elite MotoGP, exciting races in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, the ADAC Junior Cup and the Sidecar World Championship, plus a fantastic range of accompanying events at the go-kart track on Altmarkt and on Ankerberg hill.

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Max Schmeling, Gustav 'Bubi' Scholz, Graciano and Ralf Rocchigiani, Henry Maske and Axel Schulz – these are just some of the many great fighters from Germany whose success in the international boxing arena has thrilled fans all over the world. The list is long and, with world champions Marco Huck (cruiserweight) and Felix Sturm (middleweight), nowhere near finished.

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The ISTAF – International Stadium Festival Berlin – is a late-summer track and field athletics event that acts as a climax for the outgoing season. Here, crowds of up to 70,000 spectators in Berlin's Olympic stadium can cheer on Olympic and world champions fresh from their summer triumphs as well as international stars competing for the jackpot in the IAAF Diamond League.

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The claws (teeth and even flippers) are out in the German Ice Hockey Bundesliga, as teams with names such as the Panthers, Polar Bears, Scorpions, Sharks, Huskies, Penguins, Eagles and Tigers compete for the title. Maybe these elite German teams thought that their players would acquire some of the strength and abilities of their animal namesakes – which is not actually too far from the mark, as ice hockey is synonymous in Germany with speed, power and fighting spirit.

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The Deutscher Handballbund is the biggest handball federation in the world. German handball clubs have a massive fan base and top matches will pack out even the largest indoor arenas in Germany. The sport's success is largely due to its foothold in many of Germany's smaller towns and cities, such as Grosswallstadt, Gummersbach, Lemgo and Leutershausen, which have each written major chapters in handball history.

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