Willi Holdorf

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilli•Holdorf
Used nameWilli•Holdorf
Born17 February 1940 in Blomesche Wildnis, Schleswig-Holstein (GER)
Died5 July 2020 in Achterwehr, Schleswig-Holstein (GER)
Measurements182 cm / 90 kg
AffiliationsBayer 04 Leverkusen, Leverkusen (GER)
NOC Germany
Nationality West Germany


Willi Holdorf ranked third in the world in the decathlon in 1962, after his fifth-place finish at the European Championships. The favorite for the 1964 decathlon gold medal in Tokyo was expected to be Taiwan’s C. K. Yang, the 1960 silver medalist, but when the decathlon scoring tables were changed in 1962, Yang’s great advantage in the pole vault vanished, bringing Holdorf’s skills to the fore. Still, his Olympic gold medal was considered an upset and the first German decathlon gold at the Olympics. He was German decathlon Champion in 1961 and 1963, as well as in 1962 in the 200 hurdles. In 1964 he also placed fifth at the European Championships.

Holdorf was named German Sportsman of the Year in 1964, received the Silver Bay Leaf, and later became a member of the German NOC in 1997. In 2011, he was inducted into the German Sports Hall of Fame. He was educated as a high-voltage electrician but later worked as a sporting goods representative. He also worked as a trainer at the football club Fortuna Köln in 1974 for a short period and as a coach of pole vaulters at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, including Claus Schiprowski, Reinhard Kuretzky and Günther Nickel. Additionally Holdorf was runner-up at the European Championships in the two-man bob in 1973 together with Horst Floth. He later became one of the shareholders of the well-known handball club THW Kiel.

Personal Best: Dec – 7726 (1964).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics GER FRG Willi Holdorf
Decathlon, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Special Notes