Germany has edged out Austria to claim the gold medal in the luge doubles final held on Wednesday at the Winter Olympic games. Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, nicknamed the “Bayern Express,” have an enviable friendship that shines through both on and off the course.
Please note that this story was published before the primetime presentation on NBC, and as a result does contain spoilers.
The pair finished both runs in just one minute, 31.679 seconds. The second-placed Austrian team of Peter Penz and Georg Fischler lost out on the top prize by just 0.106 seconds. Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, who have otherwise led the way across the season, took third place.
Wendl and Arlt have an incredible amount in common. Apart from sharing the same first name, the pair were both born in June 1987, and both list motorcycling, snowboarding and climbing among their hobbies. Both started the sport at a young age, with Arlt competing when he was just four and Wendl a couple of years later in 1993. Wendl is also godparent to one of Arlt’s two daughters, Sophia.
“We know, if the other has not performed well and when one of us is annoyed with the other one,” Arlt says in his official biography. “This certainly happens from time to time. You just leave the other one for half a day in peace, and then everything is good.”
The pair share a joint Instagram account, where they keep the world up-to-date with their antics:
They also document their lives on Twitter:
Even when on the ice, they’ll take a moment to snap a smile for the camera:
“We are like a family, we really understand one other - perhaps better than other sports’ disciplines,” Wendl said at the Sochi games two years prior where they also won gold.
Wednesday’s win puts Germany’s Olympics efforts in a strong position for Thursday’s event, where the team relay competition sees 13 groups racing against each other.
“This will give Germany a lot of confidence going into the team race,” John Jackson, two-time Olympic bobsledder, said during the BBC’s coverage. “We know Germany dominate the luge.”