Heinrich Popow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Heinrich Popow
Heinrich Popow 2019.jpg
Popow in 2019
Personal information
Born (1983-07-14) 14 July 1983 (age 37)
Abay, Kazakhstan
SportTrack and field
Event(s)100m, 200m, 4x100m, long jump
ClubTSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Paralympics 2012: Heinrich Popow on his lap of honour after winning Gold in 100 metres

Heinrich Popow (born 14 July 1983) is a German sprinter. At the Paralympics 2012 in London he won Gold in 100 metres sprint. During his career he has been the World and European Champion in 100 metres sprint and World Champion in the long jump. In total, he won 27 medals at the Paralympic Games, World and European Championships.[1]


Heinrich Popow specialises in 100 metres sprint,[2] the most prestigious discipline in track and field. Furthermore, he starts in 200 metres, long jump and 4 × 100 metres relay.

Athletic successes[edit]

Heinrich Popow started his sport career in 2001 at TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Following an invitation for a track and field training at Bayer, he convinced his coaches by excellent results.[3] Today he practises in a group of Karl-Heinz Düe together with heptathletes like the German Olympian Jennifer Oeser.[4] At the World Championships in Athletics in Lille, 2002, he won a bronze medal in long jump and established himself as a top athlete. At his first Paralympics in Athens 2004 he won three bronze medals in 100 metres, 200 metres, and long jump. Popow boosted performance at the Paralympics in Beijing 2008 once again and won the silver medal by running 100 metres in 12.98 seconds. Finally, Heinrich Popow won Gold in 100 metres at the Paralympics in London 2012. With a time of 12.40 seconds, he prevailed over the Australian Scott Reardon and his German team-mate Wojtek Czyz at the Olympic Stadium.

Childhood and job[edit]

Heinrich Popow's family emigrated from Kazakhstan to Germany when he was seven years old. He grew up in Hachenburg (Westerwald), in Western Germany.[5] At the age of nine, his left leg was amputated up to the thigh as a consequence of an Ewing’s sarcoma in the left fibula (knee disarticulation). In Interviews, the athlete points out that the amputation was harder for his parents than for himself. His biggest concern those days was about not being able to play football as he did before.[6] Heinrich Popow describes himself as sports-mad. He tried several sports after his amputation, before starting track and field, in 2001, at TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen. He works part-time as an IT system administrator at the football club Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH.[7]

Work with young talents[edit]

In addition to his athletic career, Heinrich Popow supports and motivates young talents. He visits amputees in hospitals to motivate them for sports after their amputation. At Bayer 04, he acts as a mentor for several young athletes and supports their career with words of advice.[8] To reach young talents, Heinrich Popow relies on social media.[9]

Popularity and positioning[edit]

Heinrich Popow is one of the most popular German athletes on Facebook. The number of his fans grows constantly. Due to his clear statements he became "probably the most admired Paralympian in Germany."[10] Often quoted by mass media, Heinrich Popow became a needed voice of Paralympic sports in Germany.[11] The man from Leverkusen demands "respect and appreciation"[12] for Paralympic athletes. At the same time, he claims a professionalisation of Paralympic sports. Popow defended lower bonuses for Paralympic athletes compared to Olympic winners. He explains his opinion with the lower competition within the Paralympic field.[13] Furthermore, Popow defended the separation of the Paralympics and Olympics, otherwise the Paralympics would be eclipsed by the Olympic Games.[14]

Nominations and Prizes[edit]

In November 2012, Heinrich Popow was repeatedly honoured with a Silver Laurel Leaf, the highest sports award conferred by the Federal President of Germany to outstanding athletes.[15] In 2011, Heinrich Popow was one of the most promising candidates for the election of the German award "Disabled Athlete of the Year". After his success in London 2012, he is again nominated for this award.[16]


  1. ^ spiegel.de: "Wenn es schief geht, muss ich auf die Fresse Kriegen, 7 September 2012
  2. ^ "Leverkusen.de: Olympia-Paralympics 2012". Archived from the original on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
  3. ^ passion.ottobock.de: A World Champion in Training
  4. ^ süddeutsche.de: "Ihr könnt mich gern vor den Karren spannen, 10 September 2012
  5. ^ süddeutsche.de: "Ihr könnt mich gern vor den Karren spannen, 10 September 2012
  6. ^ Interview mit Heinrich Popow im ZDF-Mittagsmagazin, 19 September 2012
  7. ^ Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger: Heinrich Popow sprintet zu Gold, 10 September 2012
  8. ^ fluter.de: Auf einem Bein. Mit dem Sport zurück ins Leben, 27 August 2012 Archived 26 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "netzathleten.de: "Ich wollte nicht Zweiter werden." Interview mit Heinrich Popow, 2 October 2012". Archived from the original on 5 September 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  10. ^ Ronny Blaschke: Heinrich Popow sprintet zu Gold, 10 September 2012
  11. ^ süddeutsche.de: "Ihr könnt mich gern vor den Karren spannen, 10 September 2012
  12. ^ sport1.de: Wieder zwei Beine? "Ich würde ablehnen", 30 August 2012
  13. ^ focus.de: Popow: "Nicht das Niveauwie Olympia-Sportler", 28 August 2012
  14. ^ "netzathleten.de: "Ich wollte nicht Zweiter werden." Interview mit Heinrich Popow, 2 October 2012". Archived from the original on 5 September 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  15. ^ Leverkusen.com: "Silbernes Lorbeerblatt" vom Bundespräsidenten für fünf TSV-Medaillengewinner, 17 March 2005
  16. ^ Sportschau.de: Wählen Sie den Behindertensportler des Jahres Archived 2012-10-19 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]