The German-American Steuben Parade Committee of NYC, and its General Chairman Robert Radske, are proud to introduce the Grand Marshals for the 59th annual German-American Steuben Parade taking place on Saturday, September 17, 2016.
Katarina Witt, the tremendously popular two-time Olympic Gold Medalist from Germany, will lead the way on Fifth Avenue! She joins German Ambassador to the US, Peter Wittig, as Grand Marshal of the 59th annual German-American Steuben Parade!
Katarina Witt was born in East Germany and resides in Berlin, Germany. In addition to ice skating fame, she is a sports entertainment producer, TV host, actress, author, motivational speaker and humanitarian. Witt is a two-time Olympic Ladies Figure Skating gold medalist. She won her first gold medal during the 1984 Olympic games of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, and her second gold in 1988 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. During her competitive amateur career representing Germany, she amassed a total of four World Championships, six European Championships, and eight National Championships before retiring from amateur status following the 1988 World Championship!
Witt founded the production agency WITH WITT Sports & Entertainment GmbH in 1995 –
an enterprise that has set new standards in the market of figure skating productions. “WITH WITT” produces and co-produces ice shows such as “Divas on Ice”, “Enjoy the Stars” and “Winter Magic” as live events for German and American TV. She has worked as a figure skating expert during world championships and Olympic Games for American and German TV channels, such as NBC, CBS, ABC, ZDF and ARD. She also has hosted various programs on RTL, Pro7 and ARD on German television.
In 1999, Witt was admitted into the “US International Women’s Sports Foundation Hall of Fame”. In 2005, she established the Katarina Witt Foundation, to help children and adolescents with special needs regain mobility and a positive attitude toward life. Witt made her acting debut on stage in 2009 with her role as Amour in the play “Everyman” in the Berlin Cathedral. She has since written her biography, given tips and motivation for a healthy lifestyle in a fitness book, and packed her years of experience as a young athlete into a book combining fiction and reality based on her life’s story.
Peter Wittig has served as the German Ambassador to the United States since April 2014. From 2011-2012, he was German Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and represented Germany during its tenure as a member of the UN Security Council. There, he drew on his wide expertise in United Nations matters, having previously served as Director-General for United Nations and Global Issues at the German Foreign Office in Berlin.
Wittig joined the German Foreign Service in 1982. He has served at the Embassy in Madrid as private secretary to the Foreign Minister at the headquarters then located in Bonn, and as Ambassador in Lebanon and in Cyprus. He was the German Government Special Envoy on the “Cyprus Question” (the division of Cyprus). He has acquired extensive knowledge of the Middle East.
Before starting his career in the German Foreign Service, Wittig studied history, political science, and law at Bonn, Freiburg, Canterbury, and Oxford Universities.
Katarina Witt and Peter Wittig join a long list of very distinguished Steuben Parade Grand Marshals from the local, national and international arenas. Therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Senior News Correspondent Linda Schmidt, Travel Channel Host Samantha Brown, News Anchors Contessa Brewer and John Muller, numerous national political figures that include Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, NY Governor George Pataki, NYC Mayors Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, and business and media personality Donald J. Trump, motion picture and TV actors John Ratzenberger and Eric Braden, supermodel / entrepreneur / actor / producer Carol Alt, and high wire legend Nik Wallenda are but of few of the Parade’s Grand Marshals in the last 15 years.