49 Facts About Katarina Witt


Katarina Witt won the first of her two Olympic gold medals for East Germany at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, before winning a second at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.


Katarina Witt is one of only two skaters to defend a ladies' singles Olympic title, the other being Norwegian Sonja Henie.


Katarina Witt is a four-time World Champion and two-time World silver medalist.


Katarina Witt won six consecutive European Championships, a feat only equalled by Sonja Henie among female skaters.


Between 1984 and 1988, Katarina Witt won ten golds from eleven major international events, making her one of the most successful figure skaters.


Since her subsequent retirement, Katarina Witt has worked in film and television.


Katarina Witt was born in Staaken in East Germany, just outside West Berlin, which is today part of Berlin.

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Katarina Witt's mother worked in a hospital as a physiotherapist and her father was a farmer.


Katarina Witt represented the SC Karl-Marx-Stadt club for East Germany.


Katarina Witt trained six days a week, sometimes for seven hours a day with three hours spent on compulsory figures.


Katarina Witt made her first appearance in a major international competition at the 1979 European Championships, finishing 14th at the event.


Katarina Witt placed on a major podium for the first time in 1982, winning silver at both the European and World Championships.


Katarina Witt had a great shot at winning the 1982 World Championships, which she only required winning the long program to do.


In 1984, Katarina Witt was voted "GDR Female Athlete of the Year" by the readers of the East German newspaper Junge Welt.


Katarina Witt won the 1984 Olympic title in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, with reigning World champion Rosalynn Sumners of the United States in second.


Katarina Witt landed three triple jumps in her free skate program, and the judges left room for Sumners to win the event.


Sumners scaled back two of her jumps and Katarina Witt won the long program by one-tenth of a point on one judge's scorecard.


Katarina Witt won the gold medal aged 18 years and 77 days, becoming one of the youngest Olympic figure skating champions.


Katarina Witt then went on to win her first World title in dominant fashion winning all three phases of the competition.


Katarina Witt said then she planned to continue a while longer but did not see herself likely making it to the 1988 Calgary Olympics.


Katarina Witt had been considering making the 1986 World Championships her final event, but stung by the loss, Witt vowed to regain her title and skate on to Calgary.


Skating last and under immense pressure with both Kadavy and Thomas having earlier turned in brilliant performances, Katarina Witt landed five triple jumps, including a clean triple loop jump which was most crucial of all to win.


In 1988, Katarina Witt won her sixth consecutive European Championship, equaling the achievement of Sonja Henie as the most-successful skater in ladies' singles at the European Championships.


Katarina Witt was third in the compulsories, behind Ivanova and Thomas, before winning the short program with Thomas second.


Katarina Witt became only the second woman in figure skating history to defend her Olympic title successfully.

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Katarina Witt won a fourth and final World title to end her amateur career at the 1988 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.


Katarina Witt turned in a relatively lackluster long program, popping out of both a planned triple loop and triple salchow, and below the quality of her Olympic performance, but with other top contenders being mostly subpar and fatigued after the high of the Calgary Games, she won gold with a victory in compulsory figures, 2nd place to Debi Thomas in the short program, and victory in the long program.


Katarina Witt spent three years on tour in the United States with Brian Boitano, an Olympic champion.


Katarina Witt became an actress in the film Carmen on Ice, which expanded upon her gold-medal free program in Calgary.


In 1994, Katarina Witt made a comeback to the competitive-skating scene, coached again by Jutta Muller.


Katarina Witt was expected to be in a fierce three-person fight for only two spots on the German Olympic team with both young rising star Tanja Szewczenko and veteran Marina Kielmann, who was almost the same age as Witt.


Katarina Witt finished second at the German Championships behind Szewczenko, but above Kielmann.


Particularly pleasing to Katarina Witt was her clean and very confident short program, where some of the contenders with more a difficult jump combination faltered, left her 6th, and inclusion into the final flight of the long program which few gave her any chance of pre-Games.


Katarina Witt received the Golden Camera for her Olympic comeback.


In 1994, Katarina Witt published her autobiography Meine Jahre zwischen Pflicht und Kur.


In 1995, Katarina Witt was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.


In 1996, Katarina Witt received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.


In 1996, Katarina Witt had a cameo appearance in the movie Jerry Maguire and on the television show Everybody Loves Raymond.


Katarina Witt starred in a German-language film called Die Eisprinzessin - The Ice Princess, providing the vocals for the theme song, "Skate with Me".


Katarina Witt posed nude for Playboy magazine, and the pictures were published months later in the December 1998 issue, which was the second ever sold-out issue of the magazine.


In 1998, Katarina Witt appeared in the film Ronin in a small supporting role with several lines of dialogue.


In November 2005, Katarina Witt published a novel, Only with Passion, in which she offers advice to a fictional young skater based on her many years of skating.


Katarina Witt was invited to Istanbul as an honoured guest for the skating competition TV show called Buzda Dans on 25 February 2007.


On 3 December 2011, Katarina Witt was confirmed as a judge on the UK TV show Dancing on Ice, where she made her first appearance on 8 January 2012.


On 7 July 2007, Katarina Witt was a competitor at the German segment of Live Earth.

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Katarina Witt headed Munich's unsuccessful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.


In January 2013, Katarina Witt appeared on German TV in her first leading role, playing a figure skater who is pursued by a stalker.


The made-for-television movie Der Feind in meinem Leben thus has autobiographical elements, as Katarina Witt herself had been stalked in the United States 20 years earlier.


Katarina Witt found 3,000 pages on her life from the age of eight.