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Wolfgang Behrendt

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameWolfgang•Behrendt
Used nameWolfgang•Behrendt
Born14 June 1936 in Berlin, Berlin (GER)
AffiliationsSC Einheit Berlin, Ost-Berlin (GER)
NOC(s) Germany
Ethnic nationGDR

Biography

On the first of December 1956, boxer Wolfgang Behrendt became the first Olympic gold medal winner from the former GDR. In the final of the bantamweight division at Melbourne he beat Song Sun-Cheon from South Korea by a 2-1 split decision. He also tried to qualify for the 1960 and 1964 Summer Olympics, but failed to win through the qualification events. In East Germany he was national bantamweight champion in 1955 and 1957 and featherweight champion in 1960. In 1955 won a bronze medal at the European Championships. During his amateur career he won 188 bouts, losing just eight, and five more being drawn.

He was a sports photographer from 1965-90 for the daily newspaper Neues Deutschland and covered eight Olympic Games and countless World and European Championships, as well as winning several exhibition prizes for his work. At Seoul in 1988, he met up with his 1956 opponent Song. From 1970-90 Behrendt was a member of the NOC of the former GDR, and after their dissolution a member of the NOC of the reunited Germany for 14 years. After reunification, he worked as a freelance photographer for several newspapers. Later he concentrated on music and worked as a music clown in several varieties. His son Mario participated as a bantamweight boxer in the 1980 Moskva Games.

For the 1956 Olympic success Behrendt should have been awarded the Silver Bay Leaf by West German national president Theodor Heuss, which was a unique historical award at the time, but influences from the Cold War prevented it. When Behrendt attempted to leave Berlin to fly to Bonn, two sports administrators from the former GDR stopped him at the airport, so the Silver Bay Leaf was never presented to him.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1956 Summer Olympics Boxing Bantamweight, Men Olympic 1 Gold Representing Germany    

Olympic family relations