Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann

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Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1988-1211-006, Gunda Kleemann.jpg
Personal information
Born (1966-09-07) 7 September 1966 (age 47)
Sondershausen, East Germany
Sport
Country East Germany
Germany
Sport Speed skating

Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann (born 7 September 1966) is a former German speed skater. She is a three-time Olympic gold medallist, winning the 3000 metres in 1992 and 1998 and the 5000 metres in 1992. She won a total of eight Olympic medals.

Personal life[edit]

Born as Gunda Kleemann in Sondershausen, East Germany she has lived in Erfurt for most of her life. She changed her name to Gunda Niemann after her marriage in 1991 to judoka Detlev Niemann. After their divorce in 1995, she kept the name Niemann. She then changed her name to Niemann-Stirnemann after marrying her longtime Swiss manager Oliver Stirnemann on 11 July 1997. The speed skating oval in Erfurt (the Gunda-Niemann-Stirnemann-Halle) was named after her. Before the German reunification in 1990, she skated for East Germany.

Career[edit]

Niemann-Stirnemann dominated women's speed skating for several years, especially on the longer distances. She has competed in four Olympics, from 1988 to 1998, and won eight Olympic medals (3 gold, 4 silver, and 1 bronze). In the nine years from 1991 to 1999, she won the World Allround Championships every year except 1994. She has a record number of 98 World Cup single distance victories and has won 19 overall World Cup titles. She was European Allround Champion 8 times. Over the course of her career, she set 18 world records. For her performances, she received the Oscar Mathisen Award three times: in 1995, 1996, and 1997.

Niemann-Stirnemann left speed skating in 2001 to give birth to a daughter, but later returned to competition. She planned to make one last comeback and participate in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, but a lingering back injury – which she suffered from since the 2004/2005 season – made her quit. At the end of October 2005, a few days before the German Championships, she announced her retirement.

Except for one day in March 1998, Niemann-Stirnemann was number one in the Adelskalender, the all-time allround speed skating ranking, from 24 January 1993, until 2 March 2001 – a total of 2,958 days.

World records[edit]

Over the course of her career, Niemann-Stirnemann skated 18 world records:

Distance Result Date Location
3000 m 4:10.80 9 December 1990 Calgary
5000 m 7:13.29 6 December 1993 Hamar
Small combination 167.282 9 January 1994 Hamar
3000 m 4:09.32 25 March 1994 Calgary
5000 m 7:03.26 26 March 1994 Calgary
Small combination 165.708 16 February 1997 Nagano
3000 m 4:07.80 7 December 1997 Heerenveen
3000 m 4:05.08 14 March 1998 Heerenveen
Small combination 163.020 15 March 1998 Heerenveen
3000 m 4:01.67 27 March 1998 Calgary
5000 m 6:58.63 28 March 1998 Calgary
5000 m 6:57.24 7 February 1999 Hamar
Small combination 161.479 7 February 1999 Hamar
5000 m 6:56.84 16 January 2000 Hamar
3000 m 4:00.51 30 January 2000 Calgary
5000 m 6:55.34 25 November 2000 Heerenveen
3000 m 4:00.26 17 February 2001 Hamar
5000 m 6:52.44 10 March 2001 Salt Lake City

Personal records[edit]

To put these personal records in perspective, the last column (WR) lists the official world records on the dates that Niemann-Stirnemann skated her personal records.

Distance Result Date Location WR
500 m 40.34 6 February 1999 Hamar 37.55
1000 m 1:20.57 13 November 2000 Berlin 1:14.61
1500 m 1:55.62 4 March 2001 Calgary 1:55.50
3000 m 4:00.26 17 February 2001 Hamar 4:00.51
5000 m 6:52.44 10 March 2001 Salt Lake City 6:55.34
10000 m 14:22.60 27 March 1994 Calgary none
Small combination 161.479 7 February 1999 Hamar 163.020
Mini combination 169.385 6 February 1994 Baselga di Pinè 166.682
Sprint combination 165.255 17 January 1999 Collalbo 151.690

Note that the 10000 m was suspended as a world record event at the 1953 ISU Congress.

Niemann-Stirnemann has an Adelskalender score of 160.167 points. Her highest ranking on the Adelskalender was the first place.

Biography[edit]

  • Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann: Ich Will. Traumkarriere mit Tränen und Triumphen (2000). Das Neue Berlin.

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Norway Johann Olav Koss
Oscar Mathisen Award
1995–1997
Succeeded by
Norway Ådne Søndrål