Former world and Olympic champion Laura Ludwig will return to the sport of beach volleyball after giving birth to her second child. Her new partner will be German indoor star and a recent convert to the beach discipline, Louisa Lippmann. The team has already been nicknamed the LLLL Project, and the two players will chase their Olympic dream together on the road to Paris 2024.
Ludwig and Lippmann join forces looking ahead to Paris 2024
Germany’s best beach player in history welcomes the country’s best indoor player to the sand
Published 06:40, 03 Aug 2022
36-year-old Ludwig is Europe’s most decorated player in women’s beach volleyball history. She participated in the last four Olympic Games and hopes to make it to her fifth as she teams up with Lippmann for the new Olympic cycle.
Ludwig and her former partner Kira Walkenhorst were the first European team to ever medal at the Olympics with their Rio 2016 gold. They were also the first European team to win the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour season title in 2016 and the first European team to triumph at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship in 2017. Ludwig also won three World Tour Finals, twice with Walkenhorst and once with her most recent partner Margareta Kozuch, another German indoor star, who converted to beach to follow her Olympic dream and made it to Tokyo 2020 along with Ludwig. The prominent defender’s many other achievements include as many as four European Championship titles.
“I am very happy that Louisa Lippmann will take on the Paris 2024 challenge with me. We are aware that we have a lot of work ahead of us. I need to work my way back into shape and work with Louisa on the switch from indoor to sand. We are looking forward to the next 24 months.” Laura Ludwig
Before announcing her retirement from the German national team in early May of this year, Lippmann collected 162 caps under the German flag. She picked up two CEV European League silvers and the award for Best Opposite at the 2014 edition of the continental tournament. She was also the best scorer and named the Dream Team opposite of the CEV European Olympic Qualification in 2020, when Germany fell just short of qualifying for Tokyo after losing the deciding match. Lippmann never made it to the Olympics, but played at two FIVB Volleyball World Championships, in 2014 and 2018. She also played at the Baku 2015 European Games among many other editions of major international competitions like the Volleyball Nations League, the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix and the CEV European Championship. She was named Germany’s Volleyballer of the Year five times, from 2017 through 2021.
In club volleyball, the remarkable opposite earned numerous titles and medals in Europe’s continental cups and the national competitions of Germany, China and Russia. Most recently, before announcing her switch to beach volleyball, 27-year-old Lippmann and her Savino Del Bene Scandicci teammates finished in the top four of Italy’s Lega Pallavolo A1 standings.
Before sharing the news on social media, Ludwig and Lippmann revealed their new partnership on national TV when they starred in ZDF’s Aktuelles Sportstudio on Saturday.
“I'm really looking forward to our LLLL Project and the journey with Laura Ludwig.” Louisa Lippmann
While Ludwig is getting back into shape after her maternity leave, Lippmann will make her big international beach volleyball debut at this month’s EuroBeachVolley in Munich in a partnership with Laura’s former teammate Walkenhorst, who recently returned from retirement.