The 1968 East German flagbearer in Grenoble, Thomas Köhler was the first luger to win an Olympic gold medal in singles (1964) and doubles (1968), with Klaus-Michael Bonsack. Köhler also won a silver medal in singles in Grenoble as well. He was World Champion in singles in 1962 and 1967, in 1967 in the doubles, and runner-up in doubles in 1965.
From 1969-76 Köhler was chief coach of the East German lugers, a member of the East German NOC until German reunification, and was a department head within the Deutscher Turn- und Sportverband (DTSB). In 1984 and 1988 he was Chef de Mission for the East German Winter Olympic Team. After reunification he became marketing head of a trade chain in Berlin. His brother Michael was also a world class luger but never took part in the Olympic Games.