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Harald Schmid

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 2
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHarald•Schmid
Used nameHarald•Schmid
Born29 September 1957 in Hanau, Hessen (GER)
Measurements187 cm / 82 kg
AffiliationsTV Gelnhausen, Gelnhausen (GER)
NOC(s) West Germany


Harald Schmid was one of the most famous West German athletes during his active career and one of the world’s best 400 hurdlers, remembered for his many duels with Ed Moses during the 1970s and 1980s. Schmid first came to prominence at the 1976 Montréal Olympics winning two bronze medals in the 400 hurdles and with the 4x400 relay. He added another bronze in the 400 hurdles at the 1984 Los Angeles. At the World Championships he earned two silvers in 1983 in the 400 hurdles and with the 4x400 relay, winning another 400 hurdle bronze in 1987. Schmid won six medals at the European Championships – five gold medals (1978, 1982, 1986 – 400 hurdles; 1978, 1982 – 4x400 relay) and one silver in the 4x400 in 1986. Nationally he won 12 400 hurdles titles between 1977 and 1989, also winning the 400 flat in 1979. He twice bettered the European record in the 400 hurdles, in 1979 (47.85) and 1982 (47.48) and equaled it in 1987 during the final of the World Championships.

After his active career Schmid served on the Athletes’ Commission of the IAAF from 1991-98, and was on the Fair Play Curatorial from 1991-94. He was also involved in several social projects such as “Making Children Stronger.” He founded a marketing agency and worked in programs promoting health prevention and performance motivation. Schmid was awarded the Silver Bay Leaf (1976), the Rudolf Harbig Memorial Award (1987), and was elected Sportsman of the Year in 1979 and 1987.

In 1982 Schmid married Elżbieta Rabsztyn of Poland, third in the 100 m hurdles at the 1981 Summer Universiade, making him the brother-in-law of Grażyna Rabsztyn, Olympic hurdler from 1972-80. Their two children were in athletics, Alexander as a sprinter and hurdler, and Bianca as a sprinter and high jumper.

Personal Bests: 400 – 44.92 (1979); 400H – 47.48 (1982).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1976 Summer Olympics Athletics 400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic AC h1 r2/3 Representing West Germany    
  4 × 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic West Germany 3 Bronze
1984 Summer Olympics Athletics 400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 3 Bronze Representing West Germany    
1988 Summer Olympics Athletics 400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 7 Representing West Germany    

Olympic family relations

Special Notes