“The ‘Carmen’ we are going to see is a flirtatious one.” – ABC analyst Dick Button commenting immediately before Katarina Witt’s 1988 Olympic Gold Medal long program

wittgold “Bitch (noun): A woman who won’t bang her head against the wall obsessing over someone else’s opinion – be it a man or anyone else in her life … She doesn’t try to live up to anyone else’s standards – only her own.” – Sherry Argov, author of Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl – A Woman’s Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship.

Not for a nanosecond is Almost DailyBrett suggesting Katarina Witt is the B-word. Having made this point, there is no doubt that “Kati” as she is known in das Vaterland is as Mizz Argov would define: (A) Babe-In-Total-Control-of-Herself.

To put it more succinctly, Witt is the total package: Olympic Champion, Entrepreneur, Philanthroper, National Renewal Icon, Diplomat and Sex Symbol.

And this unique combination may explain daily fascination with her by so many, especially her Playboy au naturel photo session even though it was 16 years ago (e.g., December 1998 issue).

Why do we remain so interested in her all these years after she last competed in the Olympic Games? The Katarina Witt brand is a great case study of personal public relations, reputation management and her contribution to Germany’s enhanced national image.

A Story That Has Legs

Who cares what I think about them (Playboy photos)? It’s time to see what other people think?” – Katarina Witt

Rarely does a day go by and the words “Katarina Witt,” “Katarina Witt Playboy” or “Katarina Witt Nude,” “Kati Witt,” “Kati Playboy” or some variation of the same theme are not entered into the Almost DailyBrett search engine. Yes, these repeated searches (even after the conclusion of the Sochi games) are at best anecdotal, but they must be relevant.

More than two years ago, Almost DailyBrett wrote about “The Decision to Pose for Playboy.” This good decision/bad personal public relations decision piece was a direct response to the $1 million directed to Lindsay Lohan to bare it all. The story recounted the most recognizable women to pose nude in this iconic publication including Pam Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Cindy Crawford, Amanda Beard, Farrah Fawcett, Nancy Sinatra, Kim Basinger, Joan Collins, Ursula Andress, Elle Macpherson and of course, Marilyn Monroe and Katarina.

wittpb After all of these years, the original issues debuting Marilyn and Katarina are the only two to sell out. Marilyn is legendary. Katarina may not (yet) be legendary unless you are among those who contend she is the greatest figure skater of all time, including winning Olympic Gold in 1984 (Sarajevo) and 1988 (Calgary).

Katarina will turn 49 this coming December, and yet there is this almost two-decade fascination with her decision to take off her clothes for Playboy. Considering the literally hundreds of women who have made a similar pose decision for Playboy photographers, we cannot dismiss this 16-years later interest in Katarina as merely, “Boys will be Boys.”

There is something besides pulchritude here, something called persona, intelligence, class and charisma. Are men really interested in these traits?

The Most Important Public Relations are Personal Public Relations

“Glory days well they’ll pass you by. Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye.  Glory days, glory days” — Bruce Springsteen

When Witt made the “who cares” about her photos statement at the conclusion of her 10-page pictorial/commentary was she taking a “damn the torpedoes” stance or making the ultimate expression of confidence, thus contributing to her timeless appeal?

As mentioned before in Almost DailyBrett, Witt’s pose or no pose decision came when she was 33 and her biological clock was ticking in a sense that waiting too much longer to say “ja” would be too late oder zu spät.

There is also the consequential fact that she made this choice nearly a decade after Germany’s reunification. ESPN’s 30-for-30 recounted how some criticized her as being a main propaganda tool for the draconian Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR. This was the same evil police state that kept a secret Stasi file on her and lived in dreaded fear that she would defect to the West.

In the end she didn’t defect, and she and other talented women (e.g., Angela Merkel, Steffi Graf) have softened the image of Germany as it transitions from the specter of the Holocaust to Normalcy, anchored as the strongest economy in the center of Europe.

wittdiplomat The majority of great athletes fade into the fabric of society once the cheering stops. Some have tried to make comebacks (including Witt) with less than stellar results; Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali come immediately to mind.

Instead of becoming irrelevant, only to be remembered in Winter Olympics flashbacks ever four years, Katarina is assisting the less fortunate in society through her foundation (Katarina Witt Stiftung) that she began in 2005 to support physically challenged children and teens, providing them with courage to face the challenges of life.

Witt as the founder of privately held WITHWITT Sports & Entertainment GmbH also participated earlier this month in the women entrepreneurial “We Own It Summit” in Philadelphia and addressed the need for women to pursue their dreams and start their own companies.

Almost DailyBrett could provide more examples of Katarina’s present contributions, but perhaps the most important points are that she is not living in her championship past. She has always maintained a healthy confidence in herself and she is giving back to the society that has made her famous.

For Katarina there is always a future or Zukunft and a reason to be confident, optimistic and happy.

Ihre Schale ist immer halb voll.  Yep, her cup is always half full.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57R7aAY5QiM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Button

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/25840.Sherry_Argov

http://en.katarina-witt.de/

http://www.katarina-witt-stiftung.de/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katarina_Witt

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/the-decision-to-pose-for-playboy/

http://www.zimbio.com/Katarina+Witt/articles/3K9PQoiROZ3/Katarina+Witt+Playboy+Images+Still+Hot+After

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVbVTwzn06c

http://www.askmen.com/top_10/celebrity/top-10-athletes-in-playboy_4.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/feminizing-the-fatherland/

http://frontrow.espn.go.com/2013/08/co-directors-of-new-nine-for-ix-film-the-diplomat-fascinated-by-charismatic-katarina-witt/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/germany-from-holocaust-to-normalcy/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BDI2ZPqSP0

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