Twenty-eight years old, 1.87 m, 113 kg – this is one way to take the measure of Curdin Orlik. Playing the piano, meditating, Schwingen (Swiss wrestling) – this, too, is Curdin Orlik. Grew up in Graubünden, studied in Zollikofen, at home in the Bernese Oberland – you guessed it: Curdin Orlik. The affable elite athlete unites seeming contradictions. ‘Making progress in small steps’ – such is his recipe for success. And that’s one of the reasons Planzer sponsors him.

Born into an athletic family, Curdin’s love of sports came naturally. One day, Orlik’s father took the twelve-year-old judo enthusiast to a practice at the Unterlandquart Swiss wrestling club. This is where young Curdin met the Bösen – ‘bad guys’ – as Swiss wrestlers are nicknamed. From then on, the sport kept him – quite literally – firmly in its grip. 

The thrill of the test of strength, the elation after pinning the opponent, the smell of the sawdust, the jovial family atmosphere of the festival – it all makes for an exhilarating experience. ‘Schwingfeste’, as Swiss wrestling festivals are known, are like family reunions for Curdin. And both were greatly missed during the COVID-19 crisis.

‘Sometimes, the small steps are bigger than the big ones. Because they are deliberate.’

Curdin Orlik, Schwinger and sponsored partner of Planzer

The great art of small steps

As a student, Orlik lived in Kandersteg and joined the Frutigen Swiss wrestling club. After joining the ranks of the active wrestlers, he made great, and sometimes small, strides. Sometimes he took a step back. A cruciate ligament tear in 2011 put him out of action for a spell. Progress was hard to come by, as were the winners’ laurel wreaths. With his selection and participation in the 2016 Federal Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival (ESAF) in Estavayer, Curdin reached another milestone. Although he fell short of the coveted laurel wreath with a loss in the eighth round, the day rekindled his passion for the sport. He trained, optimised, perfected. Just a year later, he took another step forwards when he qualified for the final at Unspunnen. At the 2019 ESAF in Zug, he battled into ninth place and won his first federal wreath. Orlik’s goal for the 2021 season is the 17th Kilchberger Schwinget tournament starting on 25 September 2021. All his preparation is geared to that event. He trains in Frutigen with the Oberland wrestlers, at the Bernese training camp and privately. On that long-awaited autumn day, he wants to be in top form, give his all in every round and put on the best possible show. And in the evening, he wants to go home in good health and great spirits.

Success begins in the mind

The sport of Schwingen requires experience, tactics, endurance, strength, timing and luck. But the battle is won in the mind above all else. The three most important strengths that a Schwinger must have are confidence, confidence and confidence. So Curdin doesn’t focus only on his technique and athletic conditioning, but also works doggedly on his mental constitution. While Curdin is amply equipped with size and muscle mass, he by no means has an oversized ego. ‘I wrestle best when everything is going smoothly.’ He learns from mistakes and thereby builds his experience. More than anything, he grapples with himself and his limitations. And in so doing, he overcomes them.

Ideas for life

‘My life doesn’t revolve exclusively around Schwingen. I have other interests as well’, says Curdin of his life beyond the sawdust. He studied agronomy at Bern University of Applied Sciences’ School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences and now works as an agronomist at IP-Suisse, the Swiss Association of Integrated Producing Farmers. Sustainability is important to him. He believes in the success of continuous change rather than stasis or forceful manipulations. Those who imagine him spending his free time with dumbbells and protein drinks are well off track. Curdin’s openness is as multifarious as the man himself. He plays piano and the organ, likes to swim in the Aare river, heads to the woods to train or meditate, breathes deeply, works on his website, talks with family and friends, contemplates all and sundry, and keeps working on himself and his ideas.

Shared values, double the value

Since 2021, Planzer has been an official sponsoring parter of Curdin Orlik alongside IP-Suisse, Garage Wenger and SwissExtract. Planzer and Orlik fit together like Schwinger and their traditional drill trousers. They are always on the move, not only physically, but also mentally. They are the leaders in their fields. They are family-minded and down-to-earth, yet innovative nonetheless. They can go the distance and weather the blows along the way. They are open to new things and are always in tune with the times. And they pursue their goals with determination – day after day, step by step.

To express its appreciation for Curdin Orlik, the logistics company with roots in the Limmat Valley has fitted out a truck in the Orlik look. The 40-tonner plies the roads of the Bernese Mittelland bearing the likeness of the equally formidable wrestler, the Orlik logo and the slogan

‘Those who know their destination find their way’

and making a clear statement as it goes: there’s a strong team at work here. Planzer is proud of its agile sponsoring partner and wishes him the best of health. And many wreaths!

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