Matthias Berg is a former competitive sportsman and was a member of the German national athletics and skiing teams from 1980 to 1994. He competed in every Paralympics and World Championships held during this period. With a total of 27 medals (11 gold, 10 silver and 6 bronze), he is one of the most successful disabled athletes in the world. He currently represents disabled sports in national and international committees. Since the Paralympics in Sydney 2000, he has regularly worked as the “ZDF expert” and co-presenter during the Paralympic coverage.
In the SWR “Our Greatest Athletes” poll held in December 2008, in which 50 of the most outstanding athletes of the last 75 years were shortlisted, he finished in 8th place, ahead of Jogi Löw, Jürgen Klinsmann, Dieter Thoma and Martin Schmitt.
He studied music and law simultaneously, and started playing the horn at the age of just 7. He has since been decorated numerous times in both national and international competitions, and has performed across the globe with a variety of orchestras and ensembles. His solo CDs (one with horn and piano, and a Christmas album with horn and guitar) are available to buy from most well-stocked music stores.
As a lawyer, he has risen through various positions within the state administration of Baden-Württemberg. From 2001 to 2003, he was the project manager of a state-wide executive management development project within the state ministry, and from 2003 to 2015, he was Vice County Commissionar within the Esslingen district. There he also was head of administration in the Department for Environment and Technology whith more than 300 employees. An eye disease forced him to give up his role in the district administration in the spring of 2015.
He is also disabled by Thalidomide.
For more than 33 years, he has regularly visited schools to talk with pupils about sport and music, living with a disability, overcoming personal challenges and barriers, understanding what fairness and equality mean in day-to-day terms, and finding a place in life.
Matthias Berg has perfected the gift of communication. For many years, he has been in great demand as an executive-level speaker, giving talks at Allianz, Mercedes-Benz technology, Porsche, Deutsche Bahn AG, Julius Blum GmbH, EnBW, Baloise Insurance Group, AOK, several banks, and more. As a motivational speaker and consultant, he encourages executives and other employees to follow the path towards personal development and ethical behaviour, and demonstrates how to successfully guide one’s self and others.