We recently received an article about a late tribute to a former Olympian. Read more about the Olympics in 1980!
Autograph after 40 years
Everything revolves around the boycotted 1980 Olympics in Moscow. We remember: Cold War scenario – 65 countries did not come. Only 80 countries participated. And the former GDR rowers won eleven gold, one silver and two bronze medals in 14 boat classes. Pertti Karppinen from Finland was able to break this series. The brothers Bernd and Jörg Landvoigt were able to repeat their Olympic victory in the double without a cox from Montreal in 1976, as well as the crew of the double with a cox.
Now for the news – 40 years after the boycotted Olympics. The two-time Olympic rowing champion Christiane Köpke received an autograph request 40 years after her second gold. The New York chemistry professor Paris Svoronos, who collects autographs from Olympians with his students, asked for the signature. He was enthusiastic about the achievements of the winner in Montreal in 1976 and in Moscow in 1980, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote, among others. “They have shown that anything is possible if the right training and effort is invested,” Svoronos is quoted as saying.
On the regatta course in Krylatskoje, the rowing team of the GDR won the gold medal with almost all boats in the men’s team (except for the single).
The GDR women’s team was successful in a similar way, winning four out of six possible gold medals. Jutta Lau, who later became the German national coach for women, was also involved in the victories. As four years before, every GDR athlete who started in the rowing competitions came home with a medal.
As the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports, Köpke, who became world champion in 1975 under her maiden name Knetsch and Olympic champion for the first time a year later, was delighted that Svoronos added pictures that were still unknown to her to the autograph request. “That made me very happy and it is a great recognition of my achievements,” said the now 63-year-old from Brandenburg in North-East Germany.