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Petra Schneider

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full namePetra•Schneider (-Kind)
Used namePetra•Schneider
Born11 January 1963 in Chemnitz, Sachsen (GER)
Measurements172 cm / 60 kg
AffiliationsSC Karl-Marx-Stadt, Chemnitz (GER)
NOC(s) East Germany


Petra Schneider made her international breakthrough with a fifth place in the 400 metre medley at the 1978 World Championships. Two years later, she broke the world record in that event. This made her the favorite in the event for the 1980 Moskva Olympics, especially as the main contender, Tracy Caulkins of the USA, was missing because of the US-led boycott of the Western countries. At the Games, Schneider lowered her own world record by a further two seconds as she took gold. She also captured a silver medal in the 400 freestyle. At the 1982 World Championships at Guayaquil (Ecuador), she lowered the mark once more. This record, 4:36.10, stood for 15 years until it was broken by China’s Chen Yan.

After German re-unification it became known that Schneider’s performances should be viewed in a different light due to the systematic administration of illegal performance-enhancing substances by GDR sports officials, doctors and trainers. In 2005, Schneider revealed on German television that her record (still a European and German mark) should be scratched, as her performances were influenced by doping.

Schneider was named World Swimmer of the Year in 1980 and 1982, but in 2013 Swimming World removed all awards previously awarded to East German swimmers because of the government-sanctioned systematic doping. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1989. Schneider married weightlifter Ingobert Kind and became a graduated teacher. After German re-unification she worked as a swimming coach at Chemnitz, formerly known as Karl-Marx-Stadt.

Personal Bests: 400 m freestyle – ?; 400 m IM – 4:36.10 (1982).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1980 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) 400 metres Freestyle, Women Olympic 2 Silver Representing East Germany    
  400 metres Individual Medley, Women Olympic 1 Gold

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1980 Summer Olympics 26 July 1980 Swimming (Aquatics) 400 metres Individual Medley, Women Final 4:36.29 WR 1

Special Notes