Live your dream

Kirsten Bruhn is one of Germany’s most successful athletes

In 1991 a motorbike accident while on holiday in Greece turned Kirsten Bruhn’s young life upside down. She spent seven months in hospital in Hamburg-Boberg. A diagnosis of incomplete paraplegia appeared to have shattered all her dreams. But she didn’t give up. And now, in her early forties, she is a celebrated Paralympic athlete.

Kirsten Bruhn was born on 3 November 1969 in Eutin in the far north of Germany. She is the youngest of five children and was very sporty from an early age. She started to swim when she was only three and took up competitive sport at the age of ten. After the accident, which completely changed her life, swimming took on a whole new meaning for her. Initially, however, it was less of a competitive sport and more a way for her to remain mobile, a means of keeping fit and active.

During the filming for ‘GOLD – U CAN DO MORE THAN U THINK’, Bruhn relives the darkest hours of her life. Together with the film crew, she visits the hospital in Hamburg-Boberg where she was treated after her accident.

Back then, it was inconceivable that she could turn her sporting talent into a gold medal. But, with unflinching determination, she took up training again and made it to the top of her sport – in keeping with her motto: “Don’t dream away your life. Live your dream.”

Sporting achievements

  • 40 times German Champion (short course)
  • 31 times European Champion (short course)
  • 27 times World Champion (short course)
  • 41 times German Champion (long course)
  • 41 times European Champion (long course)
  • 34 times World Champion (long course)
  • 2 Paralympic Gold medals (Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008)


GOLD is a production of Parapictures Film Production and was initiated by the German Social Accident Insurance association (DGUV). It is being funded by the regional and national film foundations Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and Deutscher Filmförderfonds and distributed by NFP* marketing & distribution. The patrons of the GOLD project are Federal Minister of the Interior Dr Hans-Peter Friedrich and Willi Lemke, UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace.