Emil Benecke was a member of the team that won the first gold medal by a German water polo team at the Amsterdam Olympics. In Los Angeles the team came in second and won the silver medal behind Hungary. He took silver and bronze at the European Championships in 1931 in Paris and 1926 in Budapest, respectively. Playing for Hellas SC Magdeburg, Benecke was also an excellent swimmer prior to his water polo career. He was German Champion in 1917 and 1918 in the 500 m freestyle; in the 100 metre sidestroke in 1917-1919, 1921 and 1922; in the 400 freestyle in 1922; and in 1924-26 and 1928-31 in water polo. Benecke was a merchant. He was in Russian captivity as a prisoner of war during World War II and died shortly after the end of the war.