Gerd Bonk

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameGerd•Bonk
Used nameGerd•Bonk
Born26 August 1951 in Limbach, Vogtland, Sachsen (GER)
Died20 October 2014 in Greiz, Thüringen (GER)
Measurements187 cm / 142-151 kg
AffiliationsSC Karl-Marx-Stadt, Chemnitz (GER)
NOC East Germany


Gerd Bonk was one of the top super-heavyweight lifters of the 1970s, winning multiple medals at international championships, but was unfortunate to be competing for most of his career against Vasily Alekseyev, which prevented Bonk from winning many major titles. He did, however, win the 1976 and 1979 European titles, and collected silver medals in 1974-75, and bronze medals in 1972, 1978 and 1980. He was runner-up at the 1975 and 1976 World Championships, and won bronzes in 1972, 1978-79. He set three unlimited world records from 1975-76, two in the clean & jerk and one in the total.

At the East German Championships, Bonk won the 1971, 1973-77 and 1979 titles, adding another 15 titles in the single disciplines. Having won the bronze medal at the 1972 München Olympics, the silver medal at Montréal in 1976, and bronze medal at the 1980 European Championships, Bonk was not nominated for the Moscow Olympics. Consequently, he retired and returned to his home town Limbach / Vogtland.

Having studied as a mechanic and industrial motor car master, he retired at an early age and is considered one of the most famous victims of the GDR doping practice in competitive sports. He was given an enormous quantity of anabolic steroids by East German sports officials. After he failed to perform at a world class level anymore, he slipped down the rankings. He fell ill with diabetes, had kidney problems and became a dialysis patient in a wheelchair. After re-unification he fought for the recognition as a doping victim of the former GDR system. Finally, he received a payment of around 10.000 Euro, but no lifelong pension. In 2002 he was awarded the Georg von Opel Award for Silent Winners in the category “Special Warriors.” In September 2013 he fell into a coma due to multiple organ failure and died in October 2014.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Weightlifting GDR Gerd Bonk
Super-Heavyweight, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1976 Summer Olympics Weightlifting GDR Gerd Bonk
Super-Heavyweight, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver