Heike John

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHeike•John (-Walpot, -Schlegel)
Used nameHeike•John
Born19 June 1960 in Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen (GER)
Measurements176 cm / 67 kg
AffiliationsWasserfreunde Weisweiler, Eschweiler (GER)
NOC West Germany


Heike John was a West German backstroke swimmer who was eliminated in the heats and semi-finals over 200 and 100 metres, respectively, at the 1976 Montréal Olympics. At the 1977 European Championships she won a bronze medal with the medley relay. She also won eight West German national titles.

John became even better known to the public as the wife of Belgian journalist and reporter Luc Walpot, who mainly worked for the TV channel Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF). Heike studied medicine and graduated in 1986. She specialized in anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine, working with the clinic at RWTH Aachen.

In August 1986, she was selected as one of five West German astronaut candidates for the Spacelab D-2 mission, alongside others, including her second husband Hans Wilhelm Schlegel. She served with the mission up to 1993, but was never offered the chance of a spaceflight. In 1996 she moved to Lufthansa as a professional female pilot.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1976 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) FRG Heike John
100 metres Backstroke, Women (Olympic) 13
200 metres Backstroke, Women (Olympic) 22

Special Notes