Erika Zuchold

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameErika•Zuchold (Barth-)
Used nameErika•Zuchold
Born19 March 1947 in Lucka, Altenburg, Thüringen (GER)
Died22 August 2015 in Asunción, Asunción (PAR)
Measurements158 cm / 48 kg
AffiliationsSC Leipzig, Leipzig (GER)
NOC East Germany
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 4
Bronze 1
Total 5


Erika Zuchold was an East German gymnast, who won four silvers and one bronze at the Olympics. When East Germany participated for the first time as an independent nation in Mexico City in 1968, she earned a silver medal in the vault and a bronze with the team. She also reached the finals in the individual all-around (4th), uneven bars (5th), and balance beam (6th). Four years later in München she claimed three silver medals – team all-around, vault and uneven bars. She again placed fourth in the individual all-around and was sixth on beam.

Zuchold became known worldwide after performing her flick-flack on the balance beam, an element she first demonstrated in 1964, but she could not compete at Tokyo due to an Achilles’ tendon injury. Along with Karin Janz, she was one of the two most significant female German gymnasts of her era. Zuchold was World Champion on vault and beam in 1970, also placing second in all-around. She was elected 1970 East German Sportswoman of the Year. Domestically she earned 19 national titles.

In her post-gymnastics career, Zuchold explored a number of diverse activities and careers, including as a trapeze artist, a curator, an educator, and an abstract painter. In 2005, Zuchold was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. She was married to former cyclist Dieter Zuchold (1937-2014), who died just one year before her. In February 2015 she performed an exhibition at the Culture House in Leuna with her paintings and sculptures. In June 2015, she immigrated to Paraguay, where her sister Monika and her mother were already living, but she died only two months later.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1968 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) GDR Erika Zuchold
Individual All-Around, Women (Olympic) =4
Team All-Around, Women (Olympic) East Germany 3 Bronze
Floor Exercise, Women (Olympic) =8 r1/2
Horse Vault, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
Uneven Bars, Women (Olympic) 5
Balance Beam, Women (Olympic) 6
1972 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) GDR Erika Zuchold
Individual All-Around, Women (Olympic) 4
Team All-Around, Women (Olympic) East Germany 2 Silver
Floor Exercise, Women (Olympic) 7 r1/1
Horse Vault, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
Uneven Bars, Women (Olympic) =2 Silver
Balance Beam, Women (Olympic) 6

Special Notes