In 1968, Heide Rosendahl finished eighth in the long jump at the Mexico City Olympics, but then in 1972 had her greatest moments winning the gold medal sensationally with the sprint relay against the former GDR, winning the long jump, and adding a silver in the pentathlon. She then became one of the most beloved track and field athletes in West Germany. At the European Championships Rosendahl earned pentathlon gold in 1970, silver in 1966, and added a bronze in the 1971 long jump. In 1970, she won the European Cup in the long jump. Rosendal won numerous West German titles – 1971 60 hurdles indoor, 1969 100 hurdles, 1968-72 long jump, 1966-72 indoor long jump, and the pentathlon in 1966, 1968, 1970-72.
Rosendahl’s father, Heinz Rosendahl, was West German national champion in the discus throw in 1948, 1951, and 1953. Heide was married to John Ecker, an American basketball player who was on the UCLA team that won the 1969, 1970 and 1971 NCAA Championships, and their son Danny Ecker became an internationally successful pole vaulter. In 1970 and 1972 she was chosen as German Sportswoman-of-the-Year.
Rosendahl was trained as a sports teacher and later owned several fitness studios. She was engaged in several sport administration functions after her active career – commissioner for athletes at the German Track and Field Association from 1993-97, and vice-president of the association from 1997-2001, since 1999 a member of the marketing commission of the European Athletics Association. From 1976-90 she was a trainer of the athletics division of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen. She was awarded the Silver Bay Leaf in 1967 and the Rudolf Harbig Memorial Award in 1973, also earning the Sports Badge of North Rhine Westfalia in 1969. Since 2002, Rosendahl was a personal member of the NOC of Germany. In 2011, she was inducted into the German Sports Hall of Fame.
Personal Bests: 100 – 11.45 (1972); LJ – 6.84 (1970); Pen – 4791 (1972).
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1968 Summer Olympics||Athletics||FRG||Heide Rosendahl|
|80 metres Hurdles, Women (Olympic)|
|Long Jump, Women (Olympic)||8|
|Pentathlon, Women (Olympic)|
|1972 Summer Olympics||Athletics||FRG||Heide Rosendahl|
|4 × 100 metres Relay, Women (Olympic)||West Germany||1||Gold|
|Long Jump, Women (Olympic)||1||Gold|
|Pentathlon, Women (Olympic)||2||Silver|