At a glance

25 Feb 1962 Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany
172 cm / 69 kg 5'8'' / 151 pounds
Female
Birgit Fischer-Schmidt of Germany (formerly East Germany) is considered the greatest woman canoeist of all time. Her total of 37 medals (1979-2005) and 27 gold medals (1979-1998) at the World Championships has never been approached and her 12 Olympic medals and eight gold medals are also records. Representing East Germany (GDR) she won the Olympic K1 title in 1980 (as Miss Fischer) and the K2 and K4 in 1988. After a three-year break from competition, during which she gave birth to her second child, she won the K1 in 1992 as a member of the unified German team. In 1996...

Birgit Fischer-Schmidt of Germany (formerly East Germany) is considered the greatest woman canoeist of all time. Her total of 37 medals (1979-2005) and 27 gold medals (1979-1998) at the World Championships has never been approached and her 12 Olympic medals and eight gold medals are also records. Representing East Germany (GDR) she won the Olympic K1 title in 1980 (as Miss Fischer) and the K2 and K4 in 1988. After a three-year break from competition, during which she gave birth to her second child, she won the K1 in 1992 as a member of the unified German team. In 1996 at Atlanta, she paddled with the German K4 team to win her fifth gold medal, and at Sydney in 2000, she added golds in both K2 and K4. Her husband, Jörg Schmidt, was a World Champion and Olympic silver medalist (in the C1-1,000 in 1988). Birgit Fischer initially retired after the 2000 Olympic Games, but returned in 2003 and competed in the 2004 Olympic Games, winning a gold and silver medal. She won gold medals at six different Olympic Games, spanning 24 years. Schmidt-Fischer also won two medals at the 2005 World Championships. It appeared she would compete forever.

Birgit in numbers

6
Olympics
Olympics
12
medals
Gold medal:8 Silver medal:4 Bronze medal:
  • Athens
    Athens 2004
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Athens
    Athens 2004
    • 2 Silver medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Doubles, 500 metres
    • 1 Gold medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Fours, 500 metres
  • Sydney
    Sydney 2000
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Sydney
    Sydney 2000
    • 1 Gold medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Doubles, 500 metres
    • 1 Gold medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Fours, 500 metres
  • Atlanta
    Atlanta 1996
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Atlanta
    Atlanta 1996
    • 4
      Canoeing
      Kayak Singles, 500 metres
    • 2 Silver medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Doubles, 500 metres
    • 1 Gold medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Fours, 500 metres
  • Barcelona
    Barcelona 1992
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Barcelona
    Barcelona 1992
    • 1 Gold medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Singles, 500 metres
    • 2 Silver medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Fours, 500 metres
  • Seoul
    Seoul 1988
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Seoul
    Seoul 1988
    • 2 Silver medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Singles, 500 metres
    • 1 Gold medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Doubles, 500 metres
    • 1 Gold medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Fours, 500 metres
  • Moscow
    Moscow 1980
    Games
    Results
    Sport
    Event
    Moscow
    Moscow 1980
    • 1 Gold medal
      Canoeing
      Kayak Singles, 500 metres