Germany's bobsleigh king completes fairytale-like medal harvest at Beijing 2022

German officials couldn't have made better choices regarding the team's flag-bearers for the opening and closing ceremony at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

While the country's king of bobsleigh, Francesco Friedrich, carried the flag for the start of the Olympics, his brakeman Thorsten Margis did the job for the end.

The duo set a new record, as Friedrich became the first winter athlete to repeat his double gold from the 2018 Games.

Friedrich stands for breathtaking dominance over the past years, as he only lost one World Cup race over the past 24 months.

Only five athletes in Olympic history have managed to win the two-man and four-man events, but no one has done it twice before.

Nine of the 12 gold medals that Germany won at the 2022 Games were taken by bobsleigh, luge and skeleton athletes.

While Germany's sliders won six gold, three silver, and two bronze medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, they increased their harvest in Beijing to nine gold, six silver, and one bronze medals.

Johannes Lochner also won two medals, taking silver in the two-man and four-man events.

German bobsleigh head coach Rene Spies could hardly find the words to explain the team's success.

"It has been two extremely tough years as we implemented very strict rules to be safe and gain as much success as possible. Many things had to step back and wait until the job is done," said Spies on the athletes' families and the technical staff.

Friedrich is known as an obsessive athlete who works around the clock to optimize his equipment.

"When we compete, things might look smooth and easy. But no one seems aware what an enormous amount of preparation work has to be done in advance," Margis said.

He added that summer time is no free time for bob athletes. "Maybe it's the most important time. Losing ground at that time means to lose ground in winter."

Friedrich seemed overwhelmed being the first to repeat his double golds. "It's more pride about having accomplished a mission," he said.

The 31-year-old announced that he will continue his Olympic career and compete at the 2026 Games in Italy.

"The fire is still burning. Now we might take a very short break, but then we go on and can't wait for the next chance to make progress at the Olympics," Friedrich commented.

Spies called Friedrich a leader and fighter, but said he is no super talent.

"He is a complete athlete, taking care of all parts of his sport. From his driving skills he might not be the best, but for sure he is someone never getting tired to optimize his training days and races," Spies said.