Karin Enke

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Karin Enke
Karin Enke 1983c.jpg
Karin Enke in 1983
Personal information
Born (1961-06-20) 20 June 1961 (age 53)
Dresden, East Germany
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 72 kg (159 lb)
Sport
Sport Speed skating
Club SC Einheit Dresden

Karin Enke (born 20 June 1961), also known as Karin Busch, Karin Kania, and Karin Enke-Richter, is a former speed skater, one of the most dominant of the 1980s. She is a three-time Olympic gold medallist, winning the 500 metres in 1980, the 1000 metres in 1984 and the 1500 metres in 1984. She won a total of eight Olympic medals.

Short biography[edit]

Karin Enke started her sport career as a figure skater at the club SC Einheit Dresden. Representing East Germany she came in ninth place at the European Figure Skating Championships in 1977. Later she changed to speed skating. Dominant on all distances (being reigning World Allround Champion and World Sprint Champion, and having won German Single Distance Championships titles on all five distances in 1983), Enke was the favourite for all four distances at the 1984 Winter Olympics of Sarajevo, but she won "only" two gold and two silver medals.[1] At the World Cup, Enke had 21 single-distance victories, but won only one overall World Cup. She retired from speed skating after the 1987/1988 season.

Born as Karin Enke, she married in 1981 and competed as Karin Busch during the 1981/1982 winter. The marriage did not last long and during the 1982/1983 and 1983/1984 winters, she competed as Karin Enke again. After marrying her longtime former trainer – Rudolf Kania – in 1984, she competed as Karin Kania for the rest of her speed skating career. After her career had ended, she divorced and married again and became Karin Enke-Richter.

Like several other female East German skaters who got married after the season had ended (and several of them more than once over the course of their careers), Enke caused some confusion among the speed skating public when she—a skater with a name unfamiliar to them—suddenly won major titles in her "first" season. Commentators were apt to make remarks like "Karin Kania is the skater we knew as Karin Enke last season" and some commentators even, half-jokingly, made remarks like "I wonder what her name will be next season". To alleviate the confusion, Enke kept her maiden name as the first part of her last name after her third marriage, just like Gunda Kleemann (also known as Gunda Niemann and Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann) kept Niemann (the name of her first husband) as the first part of her last name even after her divorce and both before and after her second marriage, which is unusual in most Western European countries.

Doping use[edit]

On 3 January 2010, Giselher Spitzer, a German sport historian and researcher of the Humboldt University in Berlin, claimed in the Dutch TV documentary Andere Tijden ('Other Times') that back in 1984, Karin Enke had been prepared with doping. He based his claim on Stasi-documents, which were shown during the programme. Citation: "[Dem Arzt] war bekannt, dass Karin ENKE zu den Olympischen Spielen zu den ausgewählten Athleten gehörte, die mit erheblichen Mengen Testosteron und gleichzeitigen Gegenspritzen von Epitestosteron auf ihre Wettkämpfe vorbereitet würden." ("It was known to the medic, that Karin ENKE at the Olympic Games belonged to those athletes who were prepared for the Games with relevant measures of Testosteron and, synchronously, with contrasting measures of Epitosteron.").[2]

Medals[edit]

Karin Enke at the European Championships in 1983

An overview of medals won by Enke at important championships she participated in, listing the years in which she won each:

Championships Gold medal Silver medal Bronze medal
Winter Olympics 1980 (500 m)
1984 (1,000 m)
1984 (1,500 m)
1984 (500 m)
1984 (3,000 m)
1988 (1,000 m)
1988 (1,500 m)
1988 (500 m)
World Allround 1982
1984
1986
1987
1988
1981
1983
World Sprint 1980
1981
1983
1984
1986
1987
1982
1988
World Cup 1986 (1,000 m) 1986 (500 m)
1986 (1,500 m)
1988 (1,000 m)
1986 (3,000/5,000 m)
1988 (500 m)
1988 (1,500 m)
1988 (3,000/5,000 m)
European Allround 1981
1982
1983
German Allround 1982
1983
German Sprint 1984
1986
1983
German Single Distance 1980 (1,000 m)
1983 (500 m)
1983 (1,000 m)
1983 (1,500 m)
1983 (3,000 m)
1983 (5,000 m)
1984 (500 m)
1984 (1,000 m)
1984 (1,500 m)
1986 (1,000 m)
1987 (500 m)
1988 (1,000 m)
1988 (1,500 m)
1980 (1,500 m)
1986 (500 m)
1986 (1,500 m)
1986 (3,000 m)
1988 (500 m)
1980 (500 m)

World records[edit]

Over the course of her career, Enke skated 10 world records:

Distance Result Date Location
Mini combination 168.271 14 February 1982 Inzell
1,500 m 2:03.42 9 February 1984 Sarajevo
1,000 m 1:18.84 22 February 1986 Karuizawa
Sprint combination 160.060 23 February 1986 Karuizawa
1,500 m 2:02.23 6 March 1986 Inzell
3,000 m 4:18.02 21 March 1986 Medeo
500 m 39.52 21 March 1986 Medeo
1,500 m 1:59.30 22 March 1986 Medeo
Mini combination 168.387 22 March 1986 Inzell
1,000 m 1:18.11 5 December 1987 Calgary

Personal records[edit]

To put these personal records in perspective, the last column (WR) lists the official world records on the dates that Enke skated her personal records.[1]

Distance Result Date Location WR
500 m 39.24 22 February 1988 Calgary 39.39
1,000 m 1:17.70 26 February 1988 Calgary 1:18.11
1,500 m 1:59.30 22 March 1986 Medeo 2:02.23
3,000 m 4:17.76 5 December 1987 Calgary 4:16.85
5,000 m 7:39.82 22 March 1986 Medeo 7:31.45
Small combination 168.272 22 March 1986 Medeo 171.760
Mini combination 168.271 14 February 1982 Inzell 168.387
Sprint combination 160.060 23 February 1986 Karuizawa 161.120

Note that Enke's personal record on the 500 m was not a world record because Bonnie Blair skated 39.10 at the same tournament (the 1988 Winter Olympics). Enke's personal record on the 1,000 m was not a world record either because (again at the same 1988 Winter Olympics) Christa Rothenburger skated 1:17.65 – 0.05 seconds faster.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Karin Enke-Kania. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ "Raadsel rondom Van Gennip en DDR-vrouwen opgelost" Sportweek, 3 januari 2010