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Hartwig Gauder

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHartwig•Gauder
Used nameHartwig•Gauder
Born10 November 1954 in Vaihingen an der Enz, Baden-Württemberg (GER)
Died22 April 2020 in Erfurt, Thüringen (GER)
Measurements186 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsSC Turbine Erfurt, Erfurt (GER) / TSV Erfurt, Erfurt (GER)
NOC East Germany Germany


Hartwig Gauder, whose fourth Olympic participation was prevented by the Soviet-led boycott in 1984, grew up in Vaihingen an der Enz, West Germany, but his family moved to East Germany in 1960 when they inherited a house at Ilmenau, Thüringen. As an East German walker, he was World Champion in the 50 km. in 1987 and European Champion in 1986. Walking for Germany, he won a bronze medal in the 1991 World Championship 50 km. Gauder was world-ranked in the top 10 every year from 1980-1992, save 1989, and was ranked #1 in 1980, and 1985-1987.

In 1995 he was found to have a viral heart infection, causing cardiomyopathy. After living with an artificial heart for several months, he received a heart transplant. After the heart transplant, he took part in the New York City Marathon several times, ironically once being disqualified from the race. As a disabled participant, due to his transplant, he was disqualified for bettering the minimum time. His recovery from near-death to a normal life was covered in a documentary shown on the German documentary channel Phoenix. In 2003 he climbed Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain.

Personal Best: 50kmW – 3-39:45 (1988).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1980 Summer Olympics Athletics GDR Hartwig Gauder
50 kilometres Walk, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1988 Summer Olympics Athletics GDR Hartwig Gauder
50 kilometres Walk, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1992 Summer Olympics Athletics GER Hartwig Gauder
50 kilometres Walk, Men (Olympic) 6

Special Notes