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Michael Groß

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 2
Bronze 1
Total 6
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameMichael•Groß
Used nameMichael•Groß
Nick/petnamesThe Albatross
Born17 June 1964 in Frankfurt am Main, Hessen (GER)
Measurements201 cm / 88 kg
AffiliationsEOSC, Offenbach am Main (GER)
NOC West Germany

Biography

West German swimmer Michael Groß won six Olympic medals, with three golds, mostly in the butterfly and sprint freestyle events. In 1984, he won gold in the 200 metres freestyle and the 100 metres butterfly, and also silver in the 200 butterfly and 4x200 metres relay. With both 4x100 metres relay (freestyle and medley) he finished an unfortunate fourth. At Seoul, he won another gold in the 200 metres butterfly and a bronze with the 4x200 metres relay squad.

Groß was known as “The Albatross” because of his enormous arm span of over seven feet (2.14 metres). At the World Championships he won a record of 13 medals (five gold, five silver, three bronze), with individual event wins in the 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly in both 1982 and 1986. Groß also won a record 18 medals at four European Championships (13 gold, four silver, one bronze), with individual event wins in the 200 freestyle and both butterfly events in 1983 and 1985.

During his career Groß set nine world records in individual events with four at 200 freestyle, one at 400 freestyle, one at 100 butterfly, and three at 200 butterfly. He was elected World Swimmer of the Year in 1983 and 1985, and was also named German Sportsman of the Year in 1982-84, and 1988. In 1995, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and in 2015 was also inducted into the German Sports Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Silver Bay Leaf, Germany’s highest sports award.

Groß studied German political science and media studies, and received his PhD in philology in 1994. He has been working as an independent management consultant in Frankfurt / Main since 2001 and in Königstein im Taunus since 2012. In 2003 he was briefly in discussion for the position of managing director of the Leipzig Olympic application for 2012. For the failed candidacy of the city of Berlin for the 2000 Olympic Games, he worked part-time as a consultant.

Personal Bests: 100 m freestyle – ?; 200 m freestyle – ?; 100 m butterfly – ?; 200 m butterfly – 1:56.24 (1986).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1984 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) FRG Michael Groß
200 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) West Germany 4
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) West Germany 2 Silver
100 metres Butterfly, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
200 metres Butterfly, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Men (Olympic) West Germany 4
1988 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) FRG Michael Groß
200 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 5
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) West Germany 6
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) West Germany 3 Bronze
100 metres Butterfly, Men (Olympic) 5
200 metres Butterfly, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Men (Olympic) West Germany 4

Special Notes