Gotthard Handrick

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameKarl Hermann Gotthard•Handrick
Used nameGotthard•Handrick
Born25 October 1908 in Zittau, Sachsen (GER)
Died30 May 1978 in Großhansdorf, Schleswig-Holstein (GER)
NOC Germany


Since the first appearance of modern pentathlon at the Olympics in 1912, Germany’s Gotthard Handrick became the first non-Swedish Olympic Champion in 1936. As of 2016 this remained Germany’s only Olympic triumph in men’s modern pentathlon.

Handrick became a professional soldier in 1929, participated in the Spanish Civil War in 1937 as a fighter pilot, and claimed five aerial victories while flying for the Legion Condor. During World War II he was a member of the German Air Force. As a group commander he later rose to the rank of major with Jagdgeschwader 26. From October 1940 to June 1941, he led the III. Group of Jagdgeschwader 52, deployed to Bucharest, and supported the battles for the island of Crete. He was later promoted Geschwaderkommodore.

In June 1943 he was transferred to Austria, and organized the fighter pilot group Ostmark in 1944. At the beginning of 1945, Handrick was part of the planning staff of the strategic operation Bodenplatte (Baseplate). Handrick was awarded the Spanish Cross with Swords, the German Golden Cross and the Iron Cross I. and II. Class. He survived the war and became a representative of Daimler-Benz in Hamburg.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Modern Pentathlon GER Gotthard Handrick
Individual, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold