Interview - Joachim Dehmel

Let's delve into the remarkable journey of Joachim Dehmel, tracing his path from the fast-paced world of professional athletics to his current role as CEO of Thuasne Deutschland. From the starting line of his career as a middle-distance runner to the boardrooms where strategic decisions are made, Joachim reflects on the values, experiences, and skills that have shaped his evolution. He uncovers for us the parallels between the discipline of sports and the dynamics of leadership, and explore how a passion for movement continues to drive his professional endeavors.

Could you briefly present yourself (beyond your current position)?
My real first profession was running, indeed. Given my physical constitution I ended up as a middle-distance runner. Talented enough to win some first national titles at the age of 17, I was lucky to turn my aptitude into discipline and finally performance. Accompanied by many deep hits and injuries I finally had the privilege to participate in the 1996 Olympics as an 800m runner before I switched running shoes with business suits.

Which value would you pick to represent your professional journey, from an athlete to CEO of the German branch of an international firm?
In fact, all our core values would resonate well with my occupational advancement as they are complementing one another along various stages in my professional journey. If I had to pick one, I would go for agility. Adapting to predictable outcomes or unpredictable events, determination in living for the moment, paired with curiosity to get transformed by my own choices is describing quite well the underlying principle of my professional evolution.

How did you get from being a professional athlete to working in the healthcare industry?
Being a professional runner is naturally attended by injuries, pain, training shortfalls and physical trauma induced recoveries. You experience regularly how medical interventions or orthopedic aids, braces or soft goods can assist you in a faster recovery and getting back on track. So, there is an obvious correlation between sports and healthiness. Furthermore, the healthcare segment personifies a firework of purposes in your daily profession.

Does your choice of working at Thuasne have a link with your former career as an athlete?
There is a close link not only via the respective products or treatment options but also how Thuasne lives up to their core values. Ambition paired with fun in what we are doing is also a common denominator in my life as an athlete and in Thuasne.

Sport and movement in general are an integral part of Thuasne's mission - what does it mean to you?
In “Anima sana in corpore sano”, the credo of ASICS, my former sponsor I strongly believe in. There is a proven relation between physical and mental mobility and agility. Regaining mobility and improving our all well-being is a strong asset and should be a guiding principle for all of us.

What skills did you acquire as an athlete that are useful to you today as a professional?
There a clearly many proficiencies that favor successes in sports and as a professional. Turning talent into performance is crucial to me. Having expectations towards yourself and others is also beneficial. So is the fact that being perseverant and enjoying what you are doing can easily coexist.

What parallels can you draw between the issues/challenges you faced as an athlete and those you face today?
There are many similarities in my view. “Managing the unpredictability” and “don’t expect something will happen automatically” applies in both worlds. There’s also no room for success without commitment, dedication, easiness and passion. You can’t buy success and finally, it’s all about your team!

What does sport represent to you today ? Is it still part of your life ?
Sport is still an integral part of my life. 3 days without any physical exercise still feels unpleasant. Hence, I try to work out at least 2-3 times a week.

Anything to add ? A final word ?
For the upcoming Olympics, I’m wishing all athletes, coaches and teams good luck and all the best for achieving their goals, unforgettable impressions and a memorable time in Paris.