"Running as an athlete and feeling the speed or sailing through the air in the long jump – sport triggers emotions," says Johannes Floors.
Enjoying what he does as an athlete is important to him, and he also motivates others with this attitude. You could not have predicted that he would be a successful athlete today. Born with a genetic defect affecting the fibula, he was missing both fibulas and had deformed feet. Johannes decided to have both lower legs amputated at age 16. "The pain was too much to bear in everyday life. I was still in the hospital bed when I decided to register for the sports programme."
From then on, his prostheses were his legs. Running and doing sports with them made a fundamental positive change in his life. "I was not only able to walk with the prostheses, but also attained my natural body height in one day."
The 1.80 metre tall athlete successfully completed a triathlon as part of the sports programme. Floors initially competed as a swimmer and won medals in the Junior World Championships in 2010 before dedicating himself to athletics. He won gold in the relay at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. "Knowing we won gold at the Paralympic Games was simply indescribable. It gave me goose bumps." He won gold at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London with the European record time of 46.67 seconds. Floors tells us: "I was able to show that I was where I belonged." He has set his next major goals ‒ an individual gold medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo and earning his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.
Motivating others in cooperation with Ottobock is important to him as an ambassador. "An amputation is usually a major setback at first. It is difficult to stay motivated. That is where I want to help ‒ in sports or daily routine, life goes on."
For Johannes Floors, being an athlete means serving as a role model. Para sports and life with a prosthesis need to be explained to newcomers. He loves training with other athletes. "It's all about our performance and about doing sport together. It's no longer about the prostheses."
For the trained O&P professional, the attention attracted by Paralympic sport is important. "We really are doing well with respect to media attention. Especially in athletics, we have great opportunities to attract attention to Paralympic sport and to show what we are capable of." Johannes Floors wants to take this motivation and enthusiasm out into the world and share it with others.
Key competition achievements:
- Berlin 2018 European Championships: gold medal 200m, 400m, 4x100m relay, silver medal 100m
- London 2017 World Championships: gold medal 200m, 400m, 4x100m relay, silver medal 100m
- Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: gold medal 4x100m relay
- Grosseto 2016 European Championships: gold medal 200m, 400m, 4x100m relay
Since 2018 T 62,
previously T 43 (IPC)
100m: 10.79 seconds,
200m: 21.16 seconds,
400m: 46.65 seconds
Coach: Stefan Press
TSV Bayer Leverkusen
Gold in the relay at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio and gold in the 400m at the 2017 World Championships in London
Ottobock sport prosthesis springs
For sports: 1E90 Sprinter
Above-the-knee amputees ranging from beginners to advanced runners train under Heinrich Popow’s expert supervision.
The equipment used by athletes competing at the Paralympic Games relies on the latest technology and innovation. Here we show how it works.