She was a lovely and normal teenager. But about two years ago Dorothea Seitz started to train memory techniques. Now she is still lovely but stands out of the crowd: In October 2008 she went to Bahrain and competed against 43 memory athletes from all over the world – and became Junior World Memory Champion. Dorothea is able to memorize 189 words in 15 minutes and is not afraid to turn eighteen to compete against the adults. Memory-Sports.com spoke with the sixteen years young lady:
A competition is always a struggle against yourself. It is not about what others think of you, it is about achieving what you aspire.
Memory-Sports.com: When did you first hear about memory sports?
Dorothea Seitz: It was in early 2007. I read something about it online and wished for a book according to the techniques. The one I got was “A Sheep Falls Out of the Tree” by Christiane Stenger. I was fascinated how quick my progress was.
Memory-Sports.com: Did you imagine to follow Christiane’s footsteps and become Junior World Memory Champion?
Dorothea Seitz: No, but I always thought about how great the feeling must be, to be some kind of champion.
Memory-Sports.com: What is your favourite discipline?
Dorothea Seitz: In the beginning I trained binary numbers exclusively. Although it is the discipline with the least daily meaning, I really liked it somehow.
Memory-Sports.com: Did you have any expectations for the North German Championship 2009?
Dorothea Seitz: I always expect too much from myself and get disappointed. My goal was to reach the 4.000 points, but I didn’t. And I wanted to compete with the adults, to prepare for next year, when I become eighteen.
Memory-Sports.com: So you keep on memorizing and don’t stop on top of your success?
Dorothea Seitz: No, it would be to easy to call it quits and keep the title. A competition is always a struggle against yourself. I want to accomplish my personal goals and prove it to myself. It is not about what others think of me, it is about achieving what I aspire.
Memory-Sports.com: Since it is your last year as a junior, which championships are you planning to visit?
Dorothea Seitz: I will go to Hamburg this summer and compete at the German Championship. And of course I will fly to Bahrain once more to the World Memory Championship – to try my luck again.
Memory-Sports.com: You would have placed third, nearly second in the adults event at the North German Championship, if it wouldn’t have been noncompetitive. Are you confident to get into the act, when you will join the adults events next year?
Dorothea Seitz: I am pretty encouraged, especially since I thought about giving up the memory sport on the first day of the competition. But that’s the case at every championship I compete. Now I am highly motivated to go on, since I got a few results I never accomplished before at a tournament. Actually I am satisfied with every discipline except Speed Cards.
It’s fun to train my brain and seek for bigger and better challenges.
Memory-Sports.com: With some of your scores you are already able to hold the candle to the most of adult memory athletes in the world. In Random Words for example, you memorized 189 words in 15 minutes – that’s rank 5 in the world. What do you think about that?
Dorothea Seitz: Words are something I am good with, because you don’t need so much of a technique rather than your natural memory. With numbers and binaries you need much more training, to become excellent. I prefer language orientated disciplines, like Poem, where your techniques don’t have such an impact on your results.
Memory-Sports.com: What are your goals in Memory Sports?
Dorothea Seitz: To get better in the world ranking list, which is difficult in the moment, since the junior scores are not part of it. Apart from that I will go on, because the other athletes are great. And of course it’s fun to train my brain and seek for bigger and better challenges.
Memory-Sports.com: Did you experience anything negative because of the sport?
Dorothea Seitz: Most of the people don’t know it and think strangely about what I’m doing. My classmates call me “World Memory Champion” and “Super-Brain”. They don’t mean it basely, but it’s very annoying. People who don’t know me better, define me through this accomplishment.
Memory-Sports.com: Do you think, there is any potential for memory sports to become a sport for masses?
Dorothea Seitz: I wish it very much. But even on my school, with many highly skilled students and a special class for memory training, there are only a few interested in it. It would be great if the sport would make it big.
Memory-Sports.com: Would you like to compete against your inspiration Christiane Stenger?
Dorothea Seitz: Sure, but I don’t think that she still is in training. She is not competing any more and I doubt getting the chance to match with her.
Memory-Sports.com: You are following Christiane Stenger in other aspects, too: There is a rumor, that you are writing a book about memory techniques – is that right?
Dorothea Seitz: Yes, I was asked to write one and I agreed and signed the contract.
Memory-Sports.com: Do you have any help?
Dorothea Seitz: No, I will work on it allone. On one hand I will write about the history of the techniques and my personal experience. On the other hand I will go into detail about mental arithmetics, speed reading and other possibilities to train the brain. It will probably be called “Neurons on the ready, go!” because that’s the start signal on the championships. I want to popularise Memory Sports and show to the people, who are always missunderstanding me, what I am doing. It will be released in April, 2010.
Memory-Sports.com: We are looking forward to it. Thank you for your time.