Wolfgang Nordwig

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWolfgang•Nordwig
Used nameWolfgang•Nordwig
Born27 August 1943 in Siegmar-Schönau, Sachsen (GER)
Measurements184 cm / 73 kg
AffiliationsSC Motor Jena, Jena (GER)
NOC East Germany
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 2


At the 1972 München Olympic Games pole vaulter Wolfgang Nordwig became the first non-US pole vaulter to win Olympic gold, when defending champion Bob Seagren was handicapped by a last minute IAAF ruling which forced him to change his pole and he failed to retain his Olympic title. Frenchman Fernand Gonder won gold in 1906, but these Games are still not officially approved by the IOC. Four years earlier Nordwig had won the bronze medal in Mexico City. His brothers Reinhard and Reinhard Hans-Jürgen were middle distance runners in the former GDR.

As Olympic champion Nordwig was elected Sportsman of the Year in East Germany and retired that same year. Domestically he won eight consecutive national titles from 1965-72, also winning indoors in 1964-66, and 1969-72. He was European Champion in 1966, 1969, and 1971, and also won European Cups in 1965, 1967 and 1970. Indoors Nordwig won another four golds and two bronzes. In 1970 and 1971 he set three world records with 5.40, 5.45, and 5.46.

With several degrees as an engineer, physicist and a doctorate in economics, Nordwig worked in the Kombinat VEB Carl Zeiss Jena and was director of research and development. In the early 1990s he left Thuringia and became manager of a travel company in Berlin.

Personal Best: PV – 5.50 (1972).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics GDR Wolfgang Nordwig
Pole Vault, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics GDR Wolfgang Nordwig
Pole Vault, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Special Notes