Tense silence from the crowd, the atmosphere is at breaking point. On a hot summer's day in 2016, the spectators in Winterberg wait for the final event of another epic TIMBERSPORTS® competition. In front of his home crowd, Dirk Braun needs to secure the best time to be crowned national champion. Dirk is confident, he has no doubts about making the perfect cut – the rest is history.
Winterberg was not only home for Dirk, but also the starting point of his hugely successful TIMBERSPORTS® career. Back in 2003, 33-year-old Dirk Braun, a full-time forester and successful strength athlete, was asked to take part in a local event held in his hometown. He knew how to impress and inspire right from the start. In his first appearance as a logger sports athlete, he secured an outstanding sixth place and he remained faithful to the sport ever since.
After celebrating great successes as a bodybuilder in the 1990s, in 2005, only two years after his debut, he won the German championship, his first major title in a collection that is still unparalleled in Germany.
After this, the man with the bandana and the conspicuous beard became the first European athlete to finish fifth place in the Individual World Championship in 2005 in Virginia Beach (USA), whilst also defending the national title in 2006 and 2007, respectively. As a result, Dirk Braun became the defining face of the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Series in Germany. With his unique charisma, he captivated fans and the media at countless shows and competitions, whilst making a major contribution to the success story of TIMBERSPORTS® in Germany.
For Dirk Braun, his sporting success was incredibly important to him. His irrepressible ambition drove him to achieve top performances, and his precision and meticulousness set new standards at a national level. At the European Championships in 2007 and 2008, he was crowned Europe's best athlete and always described his triumph at the home European Championships in Waiblingen in 2007 as one of his career highlights.
In total, Braun won more than 20 national and international competitions, and with eight titles, he holds the German champion record. Braun also attracted attention from the world's elite, reaching the top 5 three times at an Individual World Championship and representing Germany at numerous Team World Championships. In addition, Dirk Braun marked two world records and the national records in all six TIMBERSPORTS® disciplines. Four of these national records still stand today. Just like his Hot Saw world record, which he set at the 2016 German Championships in his hometown.
"Doubters never win, winners never doubt." True to his motto, the man from Winterberg also had no doubts back then, on 13 August 2016, on that hot summer's day before the final Hot Saw heat. He secured his eighth and last German championship title, topping it off with a new world record to thunderous applause. A true inspiration and legend.
On 19 February 2021, Dirk Braun died in a tragic accident in Winterberg at the age of only 50. He will never be forgotten.