Nordwig in 1965
|Born||27 August 1943 (age 75)|
|Height||184 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||63 kg (139 lb)|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||5.50 m (1972)|
Nordwig won a bronze in the pole vault at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. He was a member of the East German team, the first time East and West Germany had sent separate teams to the Olympics. In the contest, Nordwig, the American Bob Seagren and the West-German Claus Schiprowski all cleared at 5.40 m, Seagren and Schiprowski on their second attempts and Nordwig on his third. All missed at 5.45 m. Seagren was the gold medal winner because he had had fewer misses at lower heights than Schiprowski.
Nordwig was Olympic champion at the pole vault at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Nordwig's keenest rivals for the title the Americans Bob Seagren, Steve Smith and Jan Johnson and the Swede Kjell Isaksson were amongst those vaulters banned by the world governing body the IAAF from competing with the lighter poles they had been using all season. An initial ban in July had been reversed on 27 August, but on the eve of the competition, 30 August, the IAAF reimposed their ban claiming the poles were new equipment and therefore invalid. Seagren, the defending champion, finished second; Johnson third; and Smith and Isaksson did not even qualify for the final. Nordwig had never preferred the new pole so was unaffected.
In the competition itself, Johnson was eliminated at 5.40 m with Nordwig clearing on his second attempt and Seagren on his third. Nordwig then cleared 5.45 m with Seagren unable to match him. Nordwig then underlined his triumph by clearing 5.50 m for a new Olympic record and his personal best.
Nordwig won five European titles: three outdoors (1966, 1969 and 1971) and two indoors (1971 and 1972). Domestically he won the East German title outdoors in 1965-72 and indoors in 1964-66, and 1969-72. During his career he set two world records. The first occasion was on 17 June 1970 in Berlin, Germany when he cleared 5.45 m (17 ft 10.6 in). The second was on 3 September 1970 in Turin, Italy, when he broke his own world record with a jump of 5.46 m (17 ft 11.0 in). In 1972 he became East German Sportsman of the Year and retired from competitions.
Nordwig had a degree in physics and defended a PhD in economics. He worked for VEB Carl Zeiss Jena eventually becoming a director of research and development. Later, he was managing director of a travel company in Berlin. His brothers Reinhard and Reinhard Hans-Jürgen competed nationally in middle-distance running.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wolfgang Nordwig.|
- Wolfgang Nordwig. Sports Reference
- Wolfgang Nordwig. trackfield.brinkster.net
- "Athletics at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games: Men's Pole Vault", sports-reference.com.
- Steve Breazeale (2 August 2012) "Not Your Typical Olympic Story", San Clemente Times.
- Mike Rosenbaum. "Americans Pole-Axed: Olympic Pole Vault Controversy", trackandfield.about.com. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "Wolfgang Nordwig – Athletics", olympic.org. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- Progression of IAAF World Records 2011 Edition, Editor Imre Matrahazi, IAAF Athletics, p 163.
- "World Rankings Index—Men's pole vault" (PDF). Track and Field News.
- "Wolfgang Nordwig", uni-protokolle.de. (German)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2gLtXIzc_U Nordwig at 1970 Universiade
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6pRZCvAPlc The Highest – Arthur Penn
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbALQiLLbEU 1972 – Wolfgang Nordwig vs Bob Seagren – Pole Vault – München Olympics
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89_rCjwGiDQ 1968 – Bob Seagren vs Wolfgang Nordwig – Pole Vault – Mexico City
| Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder
17 June 1970 – 24 October 1970
| East German Sportsman of the Year