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Niko Kappel

Niko Kappel

"As an ambassador for Host City Stuttgart, I want to inspire people through the joy and positive topics associated with football. Great sporting moments win new blood for the sport. As an ambassador, I see it as my task to use UEFA EURO 2024 to motivate people in my own country and even in my own city to take part in sport and learn the values of sport."

Little man hits the big time. Para-athlete Niko Kappel's star rose like a comet in the sporting world in 2016.
At the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, the 1.41 metre tall man from Welzheim won the gold medal in the shot put. His subsequent elation in the huge stadium in the Brazilian capital was extremely moving.

This success, combined with his likeable and authentic charisma, catapulted Niko to the top of the list of popular German athletes: world champion 2017, world record holder and third in the Para Athlete of the Decade award.

But before the next highlight of his career, he was plagued by back pain. Ahead of the 2021 Games in Tokyo, the big question of fitness was on his mind.

But Niko didn't give up; he tried a lot of different approaches to ensure he was fit to compete and fought for his goal.

On 30 August 2021 came the reward for all the hard work. Niko won his second Paralympic medal: bronze in Tokyo.

Niko, who starts for VfB Stuttgart, also impressed with outstanding results in the past season: he set a new world record in the shot put with 14.99 metres, and at the ISTAF in Berlin he secured victory with his last attempt in an incredible competition.


How happy were you when you found out that Stuttgart would be a venue for UEFA EURO 2024?

Very. As an athlete, I think it's great when major sporting events like this come to my home region. Having sport on your doorstep creates a unique flair.

Why does this European Football Championship belong in Stuttgart?

Stuttgart is a city of sport: not just football but also many other sports. It is an integral part of major events in Germany.

What special features does the city offer for this major tournament?

Stuttgart offers a very enthusiastic population with a huge affinity for sport, as well as a great stadium. The city also offers other related events that will have an impact far beyond football and sport. Fairness, tolerance and cohesion are important values in our society and are strengthened and communicated through these events.

Why should I come to Stuttgart as a guest? / What makes Stuttgart stand out?

Stuttgart is hospitable and something of a perfectionist when it comes to sporting experiences. We welcome all sports fans and will party together in style.

As someone who is deeply rooted in Stuttgart's football culture, how would you describe the enthusiasm for football in the Host City Stuttgart?

Loyal and enthusiastic. Stuttgart's enthusiasm for football is enormous and loud.

How well prepared do you think the Host City Stuttgart is for UEFA EURO 2024?

The city is extremely well prepared; there is huge anticipation and a great team spirit.

© Basti Kaspar

In your opinion, what else do football fans coming to Stuttgart for UEFA EURO 2024 need to experience and enjoy in the city besides football? / What is your favourite thing to do in Stuttgart? Please give tips here for people who do not know Stuttgart.

Of course, I recommend the view over the city from Kappelberg. ???? Nature and tranquillity right next to the city with a great view.

Which nation are you most looking forward to here in Stuttgart?

I'm naturally most looking forward to our team, hopefully with a strong Stuttgart contingent ????, and I'm also looking forward to Scotland. There will be a lot going on in the city

What does Stuttgart mean to you personally?

Home and a reliable place for sport and top performance.

How does it feel to see that your city is part of such an important international tournament?

It fills you with pride.

To finish off, we simply have to ask: who will be European football champions in 2024?