East Germany

Overview

NOCNationales Olympisches Komitee der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik
Flagbearers22

Participants

Olympic Games 1360

Description

The German Democratic Republic (frequently termed East Germany) was formed on 7 October 1949 after the division of Germany into two countries after World War II. East Germany founded its own National Olympic Committee on 22 April 1951, which was only recognized provisorily by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the 51st IOC session in Paris (1955) on condition that both Germanies had to form a combined team for the 1956 Olympics. The problem of the “Two Germanies” perplexed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for two decades (see Germany). From 1952 until 1964, the two nations purportedly competed at the Olympics as a single combined team. However, it should be noted that in 1952, a combined German team was planned and envisioned by the IOC but the GDR refused to start in an all-German team and no East German athletes competed on the 1952 “combined“ team. On 5 October 1965 at the IOC session in Madrid the NOC of East Germany became full recognition. In 1968 at Mexico City and Grenoble, the two Germanys competed as separate teams, but under the same banner, and using the same anthem and flag. The German Democratic Republic, however, was forced to use the name East Germany in 1968, a name that it detested. At the IOC session during the 1968 Summer Games, full recognition came to the German Democratic Republic when it was allowed to compete at the Olympics, beginning in 1972, using its correct name, with its own anthem, emblems, and uniforms.

Between 1956 and 1988, the GDR developed into a true Olympic powerhouse. Beginning with the 1968 Olympics, it was one of the three most powerful sporting nations in the world, with the United States and the Soviet Union. The German Democratic Republic, competing as an independent nation, won 519 Olympic medals, 409 at the Olympic Games and 110 at the Olympic Winter Games. Of these, 192 were gold medals, 39 of which were won at the Olympic Winter Games. The most successful athlete from GDR was Kristin Otto who won all her six gold medals in swimming at the 1988 Games, the last Olympics East Germany competed.

In 1958 the Olympic Committees of East and West Germany were awarded with the Count Alberto Bonacossa Trophy.

The sporting leviathan was fully state-supported, with the help of a highly advanced sports medicine program, and the athletes were treated royally in their country. After the re-unification of Germany, it was revealed that the GDR’s sports medical program had helped develop many of its athletes by the use of drugs.

Participations by edition

Edition Competition Type Men Women Total
1968 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 186 40 226 Results
1968 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 45 12 57 Results
1972 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 231 66 297 Results
1972 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 29 13 42 Results
1976 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 154 113 267 Results
1976 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 40 19 59 Results
1980 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 222 124 346 Results
1980 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 36 17 53 Results
1984 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 40 16 56 Results
1988 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 157 102 259 Results
1988 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 36 17 53 Results

Participations by discipline

Olympic Games

Discipline (Sport) Men Women Total
Alpine Skiing (Skiing) 1 0 1 Results
Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) 24 26 50 Results
Athletics 127 110 237 Results
Biathlon 22 0 22 Results
Bobsleigh (Bobsleigh) 21 0 21 Results
Boxing 35 0 35 Results
Canoe Slalom (Canoeing) 12 3 15 Results
Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) 41 14 55 Results
Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) 16 21 37 Results
Cycling Road (Cycling) 24 2 26 Results
Cycling Track (Cycling) 26 1 27 Results
Diving (Aquatics) 10 13 23 Results
Equestrian Dressage (Equestrian) 3 0 3 Results
Equestrian Eventing (Equestrian) 8 0 8 Results
Fencing 22 5 27 Results
Figure Skating (Skating) 16 18 34 Results
Football (Football) 46 0 46 Results
Handball 40 20 60 Results
Hockey 14 0 14 Results
Ice Hockey (Ice Hockey) 18 0 18 Results
Judo 15 0 15 Results
Luge 25 12 37 Results
Modern Pentathlon 3 0 3 Results
Nordic Combined (Skiing) 14 0 14 Results
Rowing 101 62 163 Results
Sailing 33 2 35 Results
Shooting 37 3 40 Results
Ski Jumping (Skiing) 20 0 20 Results
Speed Skating (Skating) 11 17 28 Results
Swimming (Aquatics) 45 76 121 Results
Volleyball (Volleyball) 17 32 49 Results
Water Polo (Aquatics) 11 0 11 Results
Weightlifting 25 0 25 Results
Wrestling 44 0 44 Results

Medals by Games

Edition Competition Type Gold Silver Bronze Total
1980 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 47 37 42 126
1976 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 40 25 25 90
1988 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 37 35 30 102
1972 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 20 23 23 66
1988 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 9 10 6 25
1968 Summer Olympics Olympic Games 9 9 7 25
1984 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 9 9 6 24
1980 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 9 7 7 23
1976 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 7 5 7 19
1972 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 4 3 7 14
1968 Winter Olympics Olympic Games 1 2 2 5

Medals by sport

Olympic Games

Sport Gold Silver Bronze Total
Athletics 38 36 35 109
Swimming 38 32 22 92
Rowing 33 7 8 48
Luge 13 8 8 29
Canoe Sprint 10 7 8 25
Speed Skating 8 12 9 29
Artistic Gymnastics 6 13 17 36
Bobsleigh 5 5 3 13
Boxing 5 2 6 13
Cycling Track 4 5 4 13
Canoe Slalom 4 0 1 5
Shooting 3 8 5 16
Biathlon 3 4 4 11
Figure Skating 3 3 4 10
Nordic Combined 3 0 4 7
Ski Jumping 2 3 2 7
Wrestling 2 3 2 7
Diving 2 2 3 7
Sailing 2 2 2 6
Cross Country Skiing 2 1 1 4
Cycling Road 2 1 0 3
Weightlifting 1 4 6 11
Judo 1 2 6 9
Football 1 1 1 3
Handball 1 1 1 3
Volleyball 0 2 0 2
Fencing 0 1 0 1

Most successful competitors

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Kristin Otto GDR 6 0 0 6
Kornelia Ender GDR 4 4 0 8
Roland Matthes GDR 4 2 2 8
Bärbel Eckert-Wöckel GDR 4 0 0 4
Karin Enke-Kania GDR 3 4 1 8
Andrea Pollack GDR 3 3 0 6
Renate Stecher GDR 3 2 1 6
Birgit Fischer-Schmidt GDR
GER
3 1 0 4
Caren Metschuck GDR 3 1 0 4
Bernhard Germeshausen GDR 3 1 0 4

IOC Members

Heinz Schöbel 1966—1980
Günther Heinze 1981—1990