Karin Enke

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Karin Enke
Karin Kania (GDR).jpg
Karin Enke in 1983
Personal information
Born (1961-06-20) 20 June 1961 (age 60)
Dresden, East Germany
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight72 kg (159 lb)
Sport
Sport Speed skating
ClubSC Einheit Dresden

Karin Richter ( née Enke, formerly Busch and Kania, born 20 June 1961) is a former speed skater, one of the most dominant of the 1980s. She is a three-time Olympic gold medallist, winning the 500 metres in 1980, the 1000 metres in 1984 and the 1500 metres in 1984. She won a total of eight Olympic medals.

Contents

Short biography

Karin Enke started her sport career as a figure skater at the club SC Einheit Dresden. Representing East Germany she came in ninth place at the European Figure Skating Championships in 1977. Later she changed to speed skating. Dominant on all distances (being reigning World Allround Champion and World Sprint Champion, and having won German Single Distance Championships titles on all five distances in 1983), Enke was the favourite for all four distances at the 1984 Winter Olympics of Sarajevo, but she won "only" two gold and two silver medals. [1] At the World Cup, Enke had 21 single-distance victories, but won only one overall World Cup. She retired from speed skating after the 1987–88 season.

Born as Karin Enke, she married in 1981 and competed as Karin Busch during the 1981–82 winter. The marriage did not last long and during the 1982–83 and 1983–84 winters, she competed as Karin Enke again. After marrying her longtime former trainer Rudolf Kania in 1984, she competed as Karin Kania for the rest of her speed skating career. After her career had ended, she divorced and married again and became Karin Enke-Richter.

Like several other female East German skaters who got married after the season had ended (and several of them more than once over the course of their careers), Enke caused some confusion among the speed skating public when shea skater with a name unfamiliar to themsuddenly won major titles in her "first" season. To alleviate the confusion, Enke kept her maiden name as the first part of her last name after her third marriage, just like Gunda Kleemann (also known as Gunda Niemann and Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann) kept Niemann (the name of her first husband) as the first part of her last name even after her divorce and both before and after her second marriage, which is unusual in most Western European countries.

Doping use

On 3 January 2010, Giselher Spitzer, a German sport historian and researcher of the Humboldt University of Berlin, claimed in the Dutch TV documentary Andere Tijden ('Other Times') that back in 1984, Karin Enke had been prepared with doping. He based his claim on Stasi-documents, which were shown during the programme. Citation: "[Dem Arzt] war bekannt, dass Karin ENKE zu den Olympischen Spielen zu den ausgewählten Athleten gehörte, die mit erheblichen Mengen Testosteron und gleichzeitigen Gegenspritzen von Epitestosteron auf ihre Wettkämpfe vorbereitet würden." ("It was known to the medic, that Karin ENKE at the Olympic Games belonged to those athletes who were prepared for the Games with relevant measures of Testosteron and, synchronously, with contrasting measures of Epitosteron."). [2]

Medals

Karin Enke at the European Championships in 1983 Karin Enke 1983.jpg
Karin Enke at the European Championships in 1983

An overview of medals won by Enke at important championships she participated in, listing the years in which she won each:

ChampionshipsGold medalSilver medalBronze medal
Winter Olympics 1980 (500 m)
1984 (1000 m)
1984 (1500 m)
1984 (500 m)
1984 (3000 m)
1988 (1000 m)
1988 (1500 m)
1988 (500 m)
World Allround 1982
1984
1986
1987
1988
1981
1983
World Sprint 1980
1981
1983
1984
1986
1987
1982
1988
World Cup 1986 (1000 m)1986 (500 m)
1986 (1500 m)
1988 (1000 m)
1986 (3000/5000 m)
1988 (500 m)
1988 (1500 m)
1988 (3000/5000 m)
European Allround 1981
1982
1983
German Allround1982
1983
German Sprint1984
1986
1983
German Single Distance1980 (1000 m)
1983 (500 m)
1983 (1000 m)
1983 (1500 m)
1983 (3000 m)
1983 (5000 m)
1984 (500 m)
1984 (1000 m)
1984 (1500 m)
1986 (1000 m)
1987 (500 m)
1988 (1000 m)
1988 (1500 m)
1980 (1500 m)
1986 (500 m)
1986 (1500 m)
1986 (3000 m)
1988 (500 m)
1980 (500 m)

World records

Over the course of her career, Enke skated 10 world records:

DistanceResultDateLocation
Mini combination 168.27114 February 1982 Inzell
1500 m2:03.429 February 1984 Sarajevo
1000 m1:18.8422 February 1986 Karuizawa
Sprint combination 160.06023 February 1986 Karuizawa
1500 m2:02.236 March 1986 Inzell
3000 m4:18.0221 March 1986 Medeo
500 m39.5221 March 1986 Medeo
1500 m1:59.3022 March 1986 Medeo
Mini combination 168.38722 March 1986 Inzell
1000 m1:18.115 December 1987 Calgary

Personal records

To put these personal records in perspective, the last column (WR) lists the official world records on the dates that Enke skated her personal records. [1]

DistanceResultDateLocationWR
500 m39.2422 February 1988 Calgary 39.39
1000 m1:17.7026 February 1988 Calgary 1:18.11
1500 m1:59.3022 March 1986 Medeo 2:02.23
3000 m4:17.765 December 1987 Calgary 4:16.85
5000 m7:39.8222 March 1986 Medeo 7:31.45
Small combination 168.27222 March 1986 Medeo 171.760
Mini combination 168.27114 February 1982 Inzell 168.387
Sprint combination 160.06023 February 1986 Karuizawa 161.120

Note that Enke's personal record on the 500 m was not a world record because Bonnie Blair skated 39.10 at the same tournament (the 1988 Winter Olympics). Enke's personal record on the 1000 m was not a world record either because (again at the same 1988 Winter Olympics) Christa Rothenburger skated 1:17.65 0.05 seconds faster.

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References

  1. 1 2 Karin Enke-Kania. sports-reference.com
  2. "Raadsel rondom Van Gennip en DDR-vrouwen opgelost" Sportweek, 3 January 2010.