Gerhard Grimmer

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameGerhard•Grimmer
Used nameGerhard•Grimmer
Born6 April 1943 in Hora Svaté Kateřiny, Ústecký kraj (CZE)
Died9 October 2023 in Floh-Seligenthal, Thüringen (GER)
Measurements174 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsASK Vorwärts Oberhof, Oberhof (GER)
NOC East Germany


In 1975 Gerhard Grimmer became the first East German cross-country skier to receive the Holmenkollen medal, Norwegian skiing’s highest accolade. He was considered in his competitive days as the best Central European cross-country skier. Grimmer participated in three consecutive Winter Olympics from 1968-76, with limited success due to injuries and illness. In 1976, the GDR relay had to give up because their leading second runner Axel Lesser had collided with an unknown person and was injured. The crew refused to protest because they did not know who to protest against, nor did anybody witness the incident. Grimmer successfully participated in the World Championships, winning two silver medals (relay and 30 km) and one bronze (50 km) in 1970. He also won two gold medals with the relay and over 50 km in 1974, as well as a silver over 15 km. Nationally, Grimmer won 20 East German national titles between 1965 and 1976.

He trained as a machine fitter, and later studied machine construction. He then went to the Nationale Volksarmee (National People’s Army) in former GDR. From 1981-90 he was president of his home club, ASK Vorwärts Oberhof. Grimmer also became a Technical Delegate within the International Skiing Association (FIS) from 1985. In 1990, Grimmer co-founded the Thuringian Ski Association, but had to resign in 1995 because of its proximity to the former GDR state apparatus. In 1981, the life of Grimmer in biographical form was described by Harry Gerlach in the book The White Track.

After re-unification Grimmer was employed by the Bundeswehr. Following rumors in 1990 that Grimmer had actively sanctioned doping practices in East Germany, he was dismissed from the Bundeswehr. He always denied any involvement with doping practices.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1968 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) GDR Gerhard Grimmer
15 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 29
30 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 15
50 kilometres, Men (Olympic) DNS
4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic) East Germany 7
1972 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) GDR Gerhard Grimmer
4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic) East Germany 6
1976 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) GDR Gerhard Grimmer
15 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 49
30 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 16
50 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 5
4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic) East Germany AC

Special Notes