Helmut Recknagel

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other
Full nameHelmut•Recknagel
Used nameHelmut•Recknagel
Born20 March 1937 in Steinbach-Hallenberg, Thüringen (GER)
Measurements174 cm / 74 kg
AffiliationsSC Motor Zella-Mehlis, Zella-Mehlis (GER)
NOC Germany
Nationality East Germany
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


In 1957, Helmut Recknagel became the first non-Scandinavian to win at Holmenkollen in ski jumping. At the 1960 Winter Olympics, he won the ski jumping gold medal and was also the flagbearer of the mixed German team at the opening ceremony. In 1964 he finished sixth and seventh in the normal and the large hill event. He also received the Holmenkollen Medal in 1960, the first German to win the award. Recknagel won the 1962 World Championship at Zakopane and was elected East German Sportsman of the Year. He also won the Four Hills Tournament in 1958, 1959 and 1961.

Recknagel studied veterinary medicine and became a veterinarian. From 1970-90 he was a member of the GDR NOC and after German reunification was a member of the German NOC (1990–93). During this time he also worked as an international ski jumping judge. In East Germany Recknagel was a sports idol for his success and humility. In 2007, on his 70th birthday, he published his autobiography Eine Frage der Haltung (A Question of Posture). In 2011 he was inducted into the German Sports Hall of Fame.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1960 Winter Olympics Ski Jumping (Skiing) GER GDR Helmut Recknagel
Large Hill, Individual, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1964 Winter Olympics Ski Jumping (Skiing) GER GDR Helmut Recknagel
Normal Hill, Individual, Men (Olympic) 6
Large Hill, Individual, Men (Olympic) 7

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1960 Winter Olympics 28 February 1960 Ski Jumping (Skiing) Large Hill, Individual, Men Jump #1 93.5 1

Other participations

Games Role NOC Nationality As
1960 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony GER GDR Helmut Recknagel

Special Notes