TOYOTA MOTORSPORT GmbH salutes Golden Girl Andrea Eskau
Brussels, Belgium - 23rd March 2018 - Andrea Eskau returned from PyeongChang with six Paralympic medals following an incredible Games with her TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH-developed ski sled.
The 46-year-old began the Games as the flag bearer for the German team during the opening ceremony and she stayed at the centre of attention thanks to her performances on the slopes, where she won medals in her sixth consecutive Paralympic Games.
Andrea’s total of two gold medals, three silvers and a bronze were achieved in the biathlon and cross-country skiing events across a variety of distances, all using the custom-built ski sled, made using motorsport technology by TMG in Cologne, Germany.
“The 2018 Paralympics in PyeongChang were an unforgettable experience with unique moments for me,” Andrea said after returning to Germany earlier this week with her team-mates. “Not least because of my exceptional equipment, I was able to enjoy success and finished literally every day on the podium. All the developments on the new ski sled paid off and enabled me to win medals in both biathlon and cross-country skiing."
“I would like to thank the entire TMG team for the inspiring and motivating collaboration. They have always searched for the perfect solution and implemented it with all available means. For their trust, curiosity and enthusiasm, I give my most heartfelt thanks.”
Despite intensive preparations for the start of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season, many TMG employees were captivated by Andrea’s performances, which demonstrated her athleticism, determination and will to win.
Several of those TMG members were part of the design and production team which worked together with Andrea to develop her PyeongChang ski sled, using carbon fibre technology to reduce weight by 30% as well as computer aided design to provide the most ergonomic shape.
“It is a true pleasure to work with Andrea and we are so proud of her for what she achieved in PyeongChang,” says Thomas Linke, Group Leader Composites at TMG. “At TMG our focus is motorsport, so we know what it means to push a car to the limit. We took everything we learned from racing and worked with Andrea to transfer it to a completely new ski sled for PyeongChang. We were all pleased that the sled worked exactly as intended and gave Andrea the right basis to prove what a great athlete she is.”
Andrea, who suffered life-changing spinal injuries in a 1998 cycling accident, has worked with TMG since 2012. At the beginning of the partnership, a group of employees in Cologne worked to support her in their spare time but the cooperation has developed into official support.
About TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH
TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) has been based in Cologne, Germany since 1979 and built its reputation in motorsport, beginning with two decades of FIA World Rally Championship success. TMG’s facilities and capabilities expanded significantly during its time in Formula 1 (2002-2009). Since the end of that era, TMG has combined works motorsport participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship with research and development support for TOYOTA Motor Corporation and a thriving business as a supplier of high-performance services to the automotive and motorsport sectors. Additionally, TMG has built a growing customer motorsport business covering activities in rally and circuit racing, with all activities inspired by TMG’s vision of Creating Excitement Through Team Spirit and Advanced Technology.
About Andrea Eskau
Born on 21 March 1971 in Apolda in East Germany, Andrea is a professional psychologist and was a keen amateur athlete as a young woman, competing in cycling and triathlon events. In 1998, a cycling accident caused a severe spinal injury and left her unable to use her legs. After first experimenting with wheelchair basketball, she found her sporting passion in road racing with a hand bike. In 2008, 10 years since her life-changing accident, Andrea won Paralympic gold in Beijing, in the road race and defended that title four years later in London, where she also won road time trial gold. At the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Andrea won a third road race gold. By then, she had become a force in winter sports as well. Her first Paralympic Winter Games medal came in Vancouver 2010 with bronze in the individual sitting biathlon, but she became a double winter sports champion in Sochi four years later in the 6km biathlon and 5km cross-country skiing. www.andreaeskau.de