Karin Janz

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameKarin•Janz (-Büttner)
Used nameKarin•Janz
Born17 February 1952 in Hartmannsdorf, Lübben, Brandenburg (GER)
Measurements156 cm / 46 kg
AffiliationsSC Dynamo Berlin, Ost-Berlin (GER)
NOC East Germany
Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 3
Bronze 2
Total 7


With five medals, Karin Janz won the most awards at the 1972 Olympic gymnastics tournament, although focus went to the more popular Olga Korbut (who also won more gold medals) and the individual all-around champion Lyudmila Turishcheva. Janz’s specialty was the uneven bars apparatus, in which she won a silver medal at the 1968 Olympics, gold in 1972, and the 1970 world title. She introduced a new flight element, the “Janz salto”, in 1971. But Janz also excelled on other apparatuses, winning four titles at the 1969 European Championships, and the horse vault at the 1972 Olympics.

After concluding her athletic career, Janz completed medical school, and worked as an orthopedic surgeon. She was the designer of the Charité intervertebral disk, the best known artificial disk replacement in spine surgery. She was named Sportswoman of the Year in 1967 and 1972. In 2000 she was elected Female Gymnast of the Century, and in 2003 she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, and in 2011 into the German Sports Hall of Fame.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1968 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) GDR Karin Janz
Individual All-Around, Women (Olympic) 6
Team All-Around, Women (Olympic) East Germany 3 Bronze
Floor Exercise, Women (Olympic) =8 r1/2
Horse Vault, Women (Olympic) =8 r1/2
Uneven Bars, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
Balance Beam, Women (Olympic) =4
1972 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) GDR Karin Janz
Individual All-Around, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
Team All-Around, Women (Olympic) East Germany 2 Silver
Floor Exercise, Women (Olympic) 4
Horse Vault, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
Uneven Bars, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
Balance Beam, Women (Olympic) 3 Bronze

Special Notes