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Birgit Fischer-Schmidt

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 8
Silver 4
Bronze 0
Total 12
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexFemale
Full nameBirgit•Fischer-Schmidt
Used nameBirgit•Fischer-Schmidt
Born25 February 1962 in Brandenburg an der Havel, Brandenburg (GER)
Measurements172 cm / 69 kg
AffiliationsASK Vorwärts Potsdam, Potsdam (GER) / OSC Potsdam, Potsdam (GER) / WSV Mannheim-Sandhofen, Mannheim (GER)
NOC(s) East Germany Germany

Biography

Birgit Fischer-Schmidt of Germany (formerly East Germany) is considered the greatest woman canoeist of all time. Her total of 37 medals (1979-2005) and 27 gold medals (1979-1998) at the World Championships has never been approached and her 12 Olympic medals and eight gold medals are also records. Representing East Germany (GDR) she won the Olympic K1 title in 1980 (as Miss Fischer) and the K2 and K4 in 1988.

After a three-year break from competition, during which she gave birth to her second child, she won the K1 in 1992 as a member of the unified German team. In 1996 at Atlanta, she paddled with the German K4 team to win her fifth gold medal, and at Sydney in 2000, she added golds in both K2 and K4. Her meanwhile divorced husband, Jörg Schmidt, was a World Champion and Olympic silver medalist (in the C1-1,000 in 1988).

Birgit Fischer initially retired after the 2000 Olympic Games, but returned in 2003 and competed in the 2004 Olympic Games, winning a gold and silver medal. She won gold medals at six different Olympic Games, spanning 24 years. Schmidt-Fischer also won two medals at the 2005 World Championships. It appeared she would compete forever.

In 2005, she was awarded the Silver Bay Leaf, Germany’s highest sports award. In 2008, she was inducted into the German Sports Hall of Fame. She became the most successful German Olympian of all times (as of 2020). Schmidt later ran a canoeing school.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1980 Summer Olympics Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Singles, 500 metres, Women Olympic 1 Gold Representing East Germany     as Birgit Fischer
1988 Summer Olympics Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Singles, 500 metres, Women Olympic 2 Silver Representing East Germany     as Birgit Schmidt
  Kayak Doubles, 500 metres, Women Olympic Anke Nothnagel 1 Gold
  Kayak Fours, 500 metres, Women Olympic East Germany 1 Gold
1992 Summer Olympics Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Singles, 500 metres, Women Olympic 1 Gold Representing Germany     as Birgit Schmidt
  Kayak Fours, 500 metres, Women Olympic Germany 2 Silver
1996 Summer Olympics Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Singles, 500 metres, Women Olympic 4 Representing Germany     as Birgit Fischer
  Kayak Doubles, 500 metres, Women Olympic Ramona Portwich 2 Silver
  Kayak Fours, 500 metres, Women Olympic Germany 1 Gold
2000 Summer Olympics Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Doubles, 500 metres, Women Olympic Katrin Wagner 1 Gold Representing Germany     as Birgit Fischer
  Kayak Fours, 500 metres, Women Olympic Germany 1 Gold
2004 Summer Olympics Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Doubles, 500 metres, Women Olympic Carolin Leonhardt 2 Silver Representing Germany     as Birgit Fischer
  Kayak Fours, 500 metres, Women Olympic Germany 1 Gold

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1980 Summer Olympics 30 July 1980 Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Singles, 500 metres, Women Round One, Heat One 1:56.92 1
1988 Summer Olympics 27 September 1988 Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Fours, 500 metres, Women Round One, Heat One 1:36.84 1
1988 Summer Olympics 30 September 1988 Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Doubles, 500 metres, Women Final Round 1:43.46 1
1992 Summer Olympics 3 August 1992 Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Singles, 500 metres, Women Round One, Heat One 1:52.49 1
1996 Summer Olympics 3 August 1996 Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) Kayak Fours, 500 metres, Women Final Round 1:31.077 1

Other participations

Games Role Details
1996 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony Representing Germany    
2000 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony Representing Germany    

Olympic family relations

Special Notes