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Birgit Fischer (born 25 February 1962) is a German kayaker, who has won eight gold medals over six different Olympic Games, a record she shares with Aladár Gerevich, spanning seven Olympiads: twice representing East Germany (interrupted by the boycott of 1984), then four times representing the reunited nation. After both the 1988 and 2000 games, she announced her retirement, only to return for the subsequent games. She has been both the youngest- and oldest-ever Olympic canoeing champion (ages 18 and 42). In 2004, she was voted German sportswoman of the year.

Birgit Fischer
Birgit Fischer und Freya Hoffmeister.jpg
Birgit Fischer (left) with Freya Hoffmeister, 2010
Personal information
Birth nameBirgit Fischer
Born (1962-02-25) 25 February 1962 (age 57)
Brandenburg an der Havel, East Germany
Height172 cm (5 ft 8 in)[1]
Weight69 kg (152 lb)[1]
Sportcanoe racing

Fischer was born in Brandenburg an der Havel, then in East Germany.[1] She attended an ASK (army sports club) boarding school in Potsdam, and worked as a sports instructor in the National People's Army, attaining a rank of major by the time of German reunification in 1990. She was married from 1984 to 1993 to canoeist Jörg Schmidt, silver medalist in the C-1 1000 m event at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. She lives with their two children in Brandenburg. In 1999 she stood unsuccessfully as a candidate for the FDP in the European Parliament election. Fischer's niece, Fanny, competed for Germany at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, winning a gold in the K-4 500 m event. Fischer's brother Frank won nine world championship medals between 1981 and 1986.

She also won 38 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships medals between 1978 and 2005, including 28 golds. Fischer's career medal count was surpassed by Hungary's Katalin Kovács at the 2011 championships in Szeged.

Fischer is also a photographer and displays works through the Art of the Olympians.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Birgit Fischer-Schmidt". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  2. ^
Preceded by
  Hannah Stockbauer
German Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by
  Uschi Disl