Kristin Otto

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Kristin Otto
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1982-0804-030, Kristin Otto.jpg
Kristin Otto in 1982
Personal information
Full name Kristin Otto
Nationality  East Germany
Born (1966-02-07) 7 February 1966 (age 48)
Leipzig, Sachsen, East Germany
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 70 kilograms (150 lb)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) freestyle, butterfly, backstroke
Club Sportclub Deutsche Hochschule
für Körperkultur Leipzig

Kristin Otto (born 7 February 1966)[1] is a German Olympic swimming champion. She is most famous for being the first woman to win six gold medals at a single Olympic Games, doing so at the 1988 Seoul Olympic games.[2][3] Otto was also the first woman to swim the short course 100 meter backstroke in under a minute,[2] doing so at an international short course meet at Indiana University in 1983.[4]

Career[edit]

Otto was born in Leipzig, East Germany, and began swimming at the age of 12, training in an East German sports academy. Aged sixteen, she participated in her first world championships, the 1982 World Aquatics Championships, winning the gold medal in the 100 meter backstroke as well as two additional gold medals in the 4×100 m relays with the East German team.

After 1982, Otto changed coaches and began concentrating on other speed strokes. At the following European Championships in 1983, Otto finished second in the 100 meter freestyle, following her fellow East German, Birgit Meineke.

In 1984, Otto set a world record in the 200 meter freestyle. She was expected to win gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic games, but was unable to compete due to the boycott by 14 Eastern Bloc countries, including East Germany. In 1985 she fractured a vertebra, keeping her from competing for most of the year or to go to the European Championships.

Otto returned to competitive swimming at the 1986 World Championships in Madrid, where she won 4 gold medals (100 m freestyle, 200 m individual medley, 4×100 m medley relay and 4×100 m freestyle relay) and 2 silver medals (50 m freestyle, 100 m butterfly). Her success continued the following year at the 1987 European Championships where she won 5 gold medals.

At the 1988 Seoul Olympic games she once again was expected to win Olympic gold. She won six gold medals, as well as setting world records in the 50 m freestyle, 100 m freestyle, 100 m backstroke and 100 m butterfly.[5]

Otto retired from swimming in 1989.[6] She currently works as a sports reporter for German television.

She was named the Female World Swimmer of the Year in 1984, 1986 and 1988 by Swimming World magazine.

Otto's career was marred by the revelations of widespread performance enhancement drugs use by East German athletes: former teammate Petra Schneider openly admitted that she had used banned substances. However, Otto stated that she was not aware that she was being doped, saying: "The medals are the only reminder of how hard I worked. It was not all drugs."[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Kristin Otto Biography and Olympic Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 3 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Otto, Kristin." Chambers Biographical Dictionary. London: Chambers Harrap, 2007. Credo Reference. Web. 2 July 2011.
  3. ^ "1988." The Hutchinson Chronology of World History. Abington: Helicon, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 2 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Swim Mark for East German". New York Times. 9 January 1983. p. A3. 
  5. ^ "Swimming and Diving-Women." World Almanac & Book of Facts (2008): 868-869. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 2 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Swimmer to Retire". The New York Times (New York: NYTC). 19 November 1989. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Lord, Craig (2006-03-07). Germans bid to purge themselves from their doping past. The Times. Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
Records
Preceded by
East Germany Barbara Krause
Women's 100 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)

19 August 1986 – 1 March 1992
Succeeded by
United States Jenny Thompson
Preceded by
United States Cynthia Woodhead
Women's 200 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)

23 May 1984 – 18 June 1986
Succeeded by
East Germany Heike Friedrich
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ute Geweniger
World Swimmer of the Year
1984
Succeeded by
Mary T. Meagher
Preceded by
Mary T. Meagher
World Swimmer of the Year
1986
Succeeded by
Janet Evans
Preceded by
Janet Evans
World Swimmer of the Year
1988
Succeeded by
Janet Evans
Preceded by
Ute Geweniger
European Swimmer of the Year
1984
Succeeded by
Silke Hörner
Preceded by
Silke Hörner
European Swimmer of the Year
1986
Succeeded by
Silke Hörner
Preceded by
Silke Hörner
European Swimmer of the Year
1988
Succeeded by
Anke Möhring
Preceded by
East Germany Silke Möller
East German Sportswoman of the Year
1988 – 1989
Succeeded by
Incumbent