Dieter schomig has been breeding carrier pigeons with his son jochen since 1973. "It is an extremely interesting hobby, because you are not only a breeder, but also a player and trainer", he states in an interview. Currently, father and son own about 80 pigeons, including twelve breeding pairs. "The participation in the olympic flight, however, was unique and fills me with an inner joy", said dieter schomig.
The fact that all five pigeons survived the long flight well is due on the one hand to the fact that jochen schomig has been running the birds in the bavarian marathon for three years now. They had to complete five flights from chateaudun, le mans, montauban, blois and laval, covering distances of between 600 and 900 kilometers. On the other hand, according to dieter schomig, he had his "olympic pigeons" in his hands fed on particularly good food and brewer's yeast.
Symbol of peace
According to him, it is a very old tradition to raise pigeons on the occasion of an olympics as a symbol of national understanding and peace. The earliest point at which "messenger pigeons" can take off were used at an olympiad in greece, the year 444 b.C.E. It was also a law in ancient greece that during the time of the olympic games no acts of war could be carried out.
At the summer olympics in modern times, carrier pigeons were also repeatedly released as a symbol of unity between the peoples. The olympic idea was taken up by the committee of the international carrier pigeon federation (FCI) "olympic races", under piet van gils and organized on the occasion of the olympics in london this year two rough olympic flights. On 28. July the international departure from berlin took place at the opening of the summer olympics. The opening in bovingdon, 30 kilometers northwest of london-city, took place at the end of the world event on saturday, 11. August, instead.
A total of 6392 pigeons from belgium, the netherlands, hungary, slovakia, france and germany, as well as individual breeders from austria, switzerland and poland, were left behind. From germany 489 breeders sent 1801 pigeons on the journey. Beside dieter and jochen schomig also from eltmann the breeders wilfried schneider with three pigeons, christian stark with three pigeons and armin grosser with one pigeon participated.
The birds were transported by the cabin express of the "friends of the long distance" bischberg went to holland and there they were reloaded with pigeons from different regions into trucks and brought to london. From bovingdon all pigeons took off for their partly very long flight back home.
Strong easterly wind
"Our pigeons had to fight a strong easterly wind during their flight", reports dieter schomig. "In addition, the arm channel presented them with a special challenge because they had never flown over such a rough water surface before." Therefore, like the other breeders from eltmann, he is glad that all the birds reached the home beat.
Dieter and jochen schomig's first pigeon arrived on sunday at 14.46 o'clock, the second came seven minutes later. Even though the final evaluation is still a long time coming, the two birds were probably the fastest from the bamberg/ schweinfurt/ lichtenfels region. The third pigeon arrived in its loft at 6 p.M., while the other two came home during the day on monday. The pigeons of schneider, stark and grosser finally reached their destination between sunday afternoon and tuesday.