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News > BIS News > “It's always worth fighting for what you love”

“It's always worth fighting for what you love”

21 Jul 2021
BIS News

David Manhart is a young man who takes on challenges. The 16-year-old Bavarian International School (BIS) student is making strides towards a professional ski career. He practices every day of the week for at least two hours - including weekends. There is mental training, physiotherapy, organisation, travel and competitions. When others are still sleeping, David is doing sports; when others go to bed, he still has to study for school. 


"I've learned that it's always worth fighting for something you love; a skill I also learned at BIS - just like time management, commitment and perseverance," said David Manhart, a Grade 11 student at BIS.


"I've learned that it's always worth fighting for something you love; a skill I also learned at BIS - just like time management, commitment and perseverance" 


David was born in Gangkofen (Bavaria). He is a slalom and giant slalom specialist, who competes for TSV 1860 Munich and is a member of the Bavarian regional squad. As soon as regular competitions are allowed, David will participate in inter-age races for the International Ski Federation (FIS). His dream is to qualify for the German ski squad and to participate in the European Cup. He also dreams of studying in Canada.


Combining professional sport training and competition with international school studies is not the average Grade 11 student’s reality. The two final years of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) require intensive studying. “The teachers and staff at BIS are incredible; they support me at all times," said David. 



What are your dreams for your skiing career?

“Overall, my goal is to go as far as possible with it, I would love to compete in an Europa cup race. A further goal of my ski career is to qualify for a ski scholarship in the US or Canada.”


How tough is it to combine school and professional sport?

“All of my classmates would confirm, the IB DP is a relentless program. The workload is extremely high, and it is not uncommon for me to stay awake until 1 AM finishing schoolwork after training. But the education and possibilities that it opens for me are simply incomparable. I have attended BIS since reception (Kindergarten) and it has been clear for me since then that I would never leave this school. And something I must honestly confess; the BIS staff and teachers are amazing, they support me anytime they can.”

“I remember a presentation by an IB alumni when the IB was first introduced to us. He said: ‘There is a triangle. Its three corners consist of good grades, enough sleep and a social life, in the IB you can only have two of these three corners.’ This has always stuck with me and now almost two years later I understand what he meant. But I must say he was only partly right. The IB is unforgiving and tough and will at times take all your brain cells, stuff them in a blender and give them back to you a week later. But the beauty of BIS is that I never felt that I truly need to sacrifice either my sleep or skiing while still achieving success both academically as well as in skiing.”


What are your plans for after you graduate from BIS, in the summer of 2022?

“My dream is to study at the University of British Columbia in Canada. I want to study some sort of engineering but am unsure of what direction, which is why I want to study at a liberal arts university in either America or Canada, another opportunity and possibility the IB offers.”


What are some of the most important lessons you have learned so far?

“I like to reflect back to where I come from. When I first started skiing, I was the absolute worst on my team, but instead of giving up I chose to fight. Now when I think back to where I started and everyone that told me I couldn’t, I should give up, that this is not my sport I am extremely proud. I learned to outperform and outwork the people that tell me I can’t, and I learned that giving up is not an option and that it is always worth fighting for what you love. A skill I also partly learned at BIS. A few further skills I learned at BIS is time management, commitment and perseverance only to name a few.”


What makes BIS different from other schools?

“BIS supports me on every step of my way, allowing me to continue competing professionally on an international level while still helping me get amazing grades. They have an understanding, accessible and present faculty that are happy to find solutions with you.”


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