Dani Auberger wins European Championships, 10 gold medals

Sparta woman continues her rising career in karate


Dani Auberger recently traveled to Cervia, Italy, to participate in the European Championships for karate and kickboxing, bringing home 10 gold medals from this year’s games.

“I was really glad to be able to compete internationally again,” Auberger, who had competed in Europe multiple times a year prior to COVID but just once since February 2020, said. “It is always fun to test your skills against athletes from around the world.”

The World Martial Arts Committee’s European Championships took place April 30 and May 1, and, according to the committee’s president, Harald Folladori, there were over 600 starts representing 10 countries – all from Europe, with Auberger being the lone representative from the United States.

Auberger competed in Combat/Kickboxing events, on April 30, bringing in two championships and a bronze medal on day one of the event. While two of the events were ones she had prepared for, the third event was somewhat unexpected.

“I had won the Women’s Point Fighting Championship, but then there was no one available for me to fight for the overall Grand Champion, and you can’t just be awarded for showing up – it’s the European Championships!” she said. “So, in order to win the Overall, they asked if I would be willing to fight in the Men’s Category.”

Auberger said she didn’t hesitate and that she was not concerned as she spends more than 90 percent of her time training with male fighters.

“I jumped at the opportunity to fight in the Open Category. I fight with the guys in training all the time, so I felt like I was prepared,” she said, “and, honestly, it was a lot of fun. I would do it again if I was given the opportunity.”

The result: Auberger is now the title holder of the Grand Champion at the European Championship.

May 1 was the karate portion of the European Championships, and Auberger went to work adding eight more gold medals and a silver to her earnings for the event.

“It was a great event, very professional, lots of safety protocols in place, but it was also a great time with true champions from all over Europe that pushed me to bring my best game to the mats over and over,” Auberger said about her experience at the 2022 European Championships. “I am always amazed at how our sport transcends language and cultural barriers and how we can come together for love of our sport and share, not just the triumphs, but also all of both the physical and emotional effort that goes into competing at this level.”

Auberger said she plans to compete across the ocean two or three more times this calendar year, including the World Games and World Championships, both in the fall of 2022.


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