Birgit Fischer (canoeist)

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Birgit Fischer canoe
Birgit Fischer in front of the water

Birgit Fischer

Full name Birgit Fischer
(from 1984 to 1993 Birgit Schmidt )
nation Germany Democratic Republic 1949GDR German Democratic Republic of Germany
birthday February 25, 1962
place of birth Brandenburg (Havel)GDR
job Graduated sports teacher
discipline Canoe racing
Boat class Kayak
(K1, K2, K4)
society ASK Forward Potsdam
Watersport Association Mannheim-Sandhofen
WSV Stahl Brandenburg
status resigned
End of career 2005
Medal table
Olympic medals 8 × gold 4 × silver 0 × bronze
World Cup medals 27 × gold 6 × silver 4 × bronze
Olympic rings Olympic games
gold Moscow 1980 Kayak single 500 m
silver Seoul 1988 Kayak single 500 m
gold Seoul 1988 Two kayaks 500 m
gold Seoul 1988 Kayak foursome 500 m
gold Barcelona 1992 Kayak single 500 m
silver Barcelona 1992 Kayak foursome 500 m
silver Atlanta 1996 Two kayaks 500 m
gold Atlanta 1996 Kayak foursome 500 m
gold Sydney 2000 Two kayaks 500 m
gold Sydney 2000 Kayak foursome 500 m
silver Athens 2004 Two kayaks 500 m
gold Athens 2004 Kayak foursome 500 m

Birgit Fischer (born February 25, 1962 in Brandenburg (Havel) ) is a former German canoeist . With eight gold and four silver medals, she is the most successful German Olympian and the second most successful Olympian ever.


Birgit Fischer was born the third of four children. From 1968 she first attended the polytechnic high school and, due to her sporting talents, switched to the children's and youth sports school (KJS) in Brandenburg (Havel) in 1975 . When this school was moved to Potsdam in 1976 , she moved to the boarding school of the Vorwärts Potsdam army sports club , to which this KJS was affiliated. In 1982 Birgit Fischer finished school with the Abitur (due to the time requirements for competitive sport, there were schedules that differed from the normal school schedule, so that successfully completing school usually required a longer period of time).

Birgit Fischer was married to the canoe racer Jörg Schmidt from 1984 to 1993 and from this marriage has a son and a daughter. Today she lives with her family in Brandenburg an der Havel and in Bollmannsruh (municipality of Päwesin ) on the Beetzsee .

Her older brother Frank Fischer and his daughter Fanny Fischer are also successful canoeists.

In 2006 she got involved as a “boat mate” for the German Society for Rescue of Shipwrecked People (DGzRS). The annually changing “Bootschafter” makes himself available for his term of office on a voluntary basis for advertising measures of the DGzRS, which is mainly financed by donations.

education and profession

As a member of the ASK Potsdam, Birgit Fischer was at the same time a member of the army (professional officer) of the NVA in the position of sports instructor, which she held until 1990 (last rank major ). In 1982 Birgit Fischer began studying law , but dropped out in 1983 because of competitive sports. In 1984 she began studying sports science at the German University of Physical Culture (DHfK) in Leipzig, which she completed in 1991 (because of the winding up of the DHfK) at the University of Leipzig as a certified sports teacher. In 1991 she successfully completed additional studies on the theory and methodology of physical education at the University of Potsdam . In 1999/2000 she completed a two-year correspondence course to become a sports and tourism manager at the IST study institute in Düsseldorf . On March 1st, 2004 she founded her company KanuFisch .

Athletic career


At the age of six Birgit Fischer, like her brothers, got into canoe racing through her father Karl-Heinz Fischer and became a member of the BSG Stahl Brandenburg . Her father was also her first trainer. Her second and most important trainer was Harald Brosig from 1970 to 1975, who promoted her so decisively that she could be delegated to the KJS . There in ASK Vorwärts Potsdam she was trained by Lothar Schäfer until her preliminary end of career in 1988.

Her first Olympic gold won Birgit Fischer in 1980 in Moscow the team of DDR in one kayak over 500 meters, her last in 2004 in Athens in the four-man kayak also over 500 meters. At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney she was the flag bearer of the German team at the opening ceremony - at the previous games in Atlanta  she carried the German flag into the stadium at the closing ceremony . No other athlete has been so successful in an Olympic sport for such a long time. With eight gold medals, Birgit Fischer is the most successful German Olympic participant . In the history of the Olympic Games, only five athletes were more successful, including only one woman (as of July 2012).

In total, Birgit Fischer has been world champion 27 times, Olympic champion eight times and European champion twice.

Since January 2005 Birgit Fischer started again for her original club, now WSV Stahl Brandenburg, of which she has been an honorary member since the early 1990s.

In the summer of 2007, she announced that she would make a comeback attempt to take part in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing . In February 2008, she announced that, due to increased professional obligations, she was not able to train regularly to the extent required and that she was therefore giving up this project. In autumn 2011, she announced that she wanted to fight for a place in the German Olympic team again in spring 2012, but had to give up because of health problems.

Olympic Games track record

Birgit Fischer has participated in a total of six Olympic Games since 1980. Only in 1984 at the summer games in Los Angeles she could not take part because of the boycott of several countries of the Eastern bloc , including the GDR . She won a total of twelve Olympic medals during her participation, eight of which were gold. Her dominance in an Olympic sport for so many years even earned Birgit Fischer an entry in the Guinness Book of Records .

  • SpainSpain1992 Barcelona
    • Kayak-One 500m gold medal
    • Kayak foursome 500 m silver medal
  • United StatesUnited States1996 Atlanta
    • Kayak foursome 500 m gold medal
    • Kayak two-man 500 m silver medal
  • AustraliaAustralia2000 Sydney
    • Kayak foursome 500 m gold medal
    • Kayak two-man 500 m gold medal
  • GreeceGreece2004 Athens
    • Kayak foursome 500 m gold medal
    • Kayak two-man 500 m silver medal


Fischer is committed to the FDP and ran in the European elections in 1999 in second place as an independent candidate of the Liberals, without being an FDP member. However, the FDP missed the leap into the European Parliament. Birgit Fischer is a member of the board of trustees of the Liberal Network Foundation , and she is also involved in many different areas of nature conservation . In August 2007 she also volunteered for an advertisement for the New Social Market Economy initiative .



Web links

Commons : Birgit Fischer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Archived copy ( memento of the original from March 9, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Spiegel Online : Record woman Fischer does not feel wanted by the association . August 12, 2007.
  3. FOCUS Online: Canoe - Olympia: Record Olympian Fischer ends career
  4. Neues Deutschland , August 22, 1980, p. 3
  5. ^ New Germany, 1./2. September 1984, p. 4
  6. Märkische Allgemeine , December 16, 2013, p. 18
  7. a b c Winner and placed since 1998 , Neues Deutschland, accessed December 10, 2012