Mr Keller, you completed your
apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic in equipment and precision engineering
in 1998 and have been Technical Application Manager since 2019. You have also
been a para snowboarder since 2017. Are there any similarities between being a
manager and being a snowboarder?
Certainly, there are a lot: It is always good to keep a clear head
– whether in your everyday job, at the World Cup or when touring. I always take
a considered approach and examine the facts carefully. I think that this is the
only way of making sound and correct decisions. Anything else, whether on my
own in the outdoors or as a manager with responsibility for my team, would be
How would you describe your role as
a manager? What do you consider to be particularly important and who do you
take your inspiration from?
Loyalty, treating one another fairly and having an excellent team
spirit. That's the example my former manager set every day, and that's what I'm
trying to continue. I also see myself as a "guide", steering
everything and everyone in the right direction, so that we achieve success. I
also find it important for each person to identify with his or her tasks and to
approach new challenges with a positive attitude.
Your motto is "The best view
comes after the hardest climb." Can you explain this in more detail?
Well, I had a serious motorcycle accident and had to have my lower
leg amputated. Dealing with this was and is a big challenge and changed a lot
of things for me. But now I know what you can achieve if you follow your goals
consistently. And that also motivates me as a manager. I don't see
difficulties, just new opportunities.
One of these possibilities outside
of CHIRON has been snowboarding in the German Paralympic team. What are your
Competition is strong, and with some countries investing a lot of
money, the majority of athletes are professionals. Team Germany was only
formed after the last Paralympics. Our budget is very small and all our
athletes and assistants are in employment, so we only take part in individual
races. But we still want to be at the front of the field, perhaps achieving a
place in the top 10. And of course we all want to go to Beijing for the
Matthias Keller starts in the Lower Limb 2 class in two
disciplines: Snowboard-cross (SBX) and banked slalom.
In SBX, each athlete first descends on their own against the
clock, then, from the last sixteen onward, it is head to head. The course
includes racing and freestyle elements. In the banked slalom, the snowboarders
descend slopes with gradients of up to 35 percent on a course prepared with
steep turns. All participants compete twice against the clock, the quickest run
How do you juggle training, a job
and your private life? It sounds like a sport in itself!
I prioritize and focus on the essential. Everyday work is
intensive, for sure, but sport is a perfect balance for me. I see every task
facing me as a chance to improve.
What motivates you other than your
Life itself is the greatest motivation. There are so many
beautiful moments that I have worked towards again after the amputation. For
example, the feeling of standing on top of a mountain – indescribable! The
climb may be tough, but it is always worth it. Every day has the potential to
be a good day. In sport, at home and at work.
For more information on the German Para Snowboard Team:
Matthias Keller in competition mode at the World Cup. Image: Luc Percival Photography
1998 Completed training as an Industrial Mechanic at CHIRON as best in
2001 Employee in Manufacturing
2003 National service with the
German Red Cross
2004 Application Engineer in
Applications at CHIRON
2008 Application Engineering
2015 Application Engineering
2019 Application Manager