In his honorific speech the President of the regional dancing association of North Rhine-Westphalia, Norbert Jung, valued the outstandig achievements and merits of this years awardee Heidi Götz highly. All over the world she has been known as a dancer, teacher, judge and official for decades. Regarding the Austrian Open she was part of the organization team and nowadays is the soul of this international event.

Ten years ago she was appointed into the WDSF executive committee – here she took responsibility for communications. She led the dance sport into a new age regarding the modern techniques of communication. Under her guidance the WDSF internet exposure got to the top of all dance sport websites. Just as important for Heidi Götz is the interpersonal communication with couples and officials from all over the world. She has been showing her presence at many main events to be able to report promptly and authentically.

In the honorific speech for Michael Eichert, Ivo Münster, Sportsdirector of the regional dancing association of North Rhine-Westphalia, valued the honorary service the awardee has been offered for over 40 years, at first as the sportsdirector of the 1. TC Ludwigsburg for 15 years, being followed by seven years as vice president of the same club. On the federal state level at first responsible for the teaching he became the regional sportsdirector of the regional dancing association of Baden-Württemberg and accompanied and assisted the German Open Championchips from the beginning.

From 1993 on Michael Eichert was firstly involved as secretry at federal level, four and a half years later he was elected as federeal sportsdirector. Down to present day he pleads for „his“ couples and dance sport Germany with dedication and devotion as well in Germany as internationally. Already in 2010 he became „Ordinary Member“ of the former IDSF-Committee (WDSF since 2011) and was 2. Vice President and member of the WDSF Chair Sports Commission until June 2017. During his career he was awarded several times, now followed by the Oliver Wessel-Therhorn Award 2017.

Emotionally affected both, Heidi Götz and Michael Eichert, accepted this extraordinary honor. “Many thanks for this award. It is not just a distinction but particularly esteem for honorary work. Nowadays this is not self-evident anymore“, Heidi Götz pointed out after the award. Michael Eichert added: “Often people say that everyone is substitutable – this might be appropriate regarding some people. But this is not correct regarding one person! Oliver Wessel-Therhorn isn not replacable. We miss him a lot!“