Thursday, May 26, 2011

Katarina Witt photo 03 2009 best new

Katarina Witt (born December 3, 1965) is a German figure skater and model. In Germany she was commonly called "Kati" in the past, but today her full name is used more often.

She won two Olympic gold medals for East Germany, first in the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics and the second in 1988 at the Calgary Olympics. She won the World Championships four times (in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988), and six consecutive European Championships (1983–1988). Her competitive record makes her one of the most successful figure skaters of all time.
1 Life and career
2 After competing
3 Results
4 See also
5 References
6 External linksKatarina Witt, 1982
Witt was born in Staaken in then East Germany, just outside of West Berlin, which is today part of Berlin. She went to school in Karl-Marx-Stadt (which today has reverted to its pre-war name of Chemnitz). There she attended a special school for athletically talented children named Kinder- und Jugendsportschule. She represented the club SC Karl-Marx-Stadt for the GDR (East Germany). Jutta Müller began coaching her in 1977.

In 1984, Witt was voted "GDR female athlete of the year" by the readers of the East German newspaper Junge Welt. She narrowly won the 1984 Olympic title over the favored contender, reigning World champion Rosalynn Sumners of the United States. Witt and Sumners held the top two spots heading into the Olympic free skate, which were worth 50% of the total score. Witt landed three triple jumps in her free skate program, and the judges left room for Sumners to win the event, but Sumners scaled back two of her jumps, and Witt won the long program by one tenth of a point on one judge's scorecard.

In 1987, Witt recaptured the World Championship title, which she had lost the previous year to Debi Thomas. Witt only finished fifth in compulsory figures, which meant that Thomas could finish second in both the short and long programs and still retain the world title. However, a costly error by Thomas in the short program put the two skaters on a level playing field heading into the free skate. Witt skated the strongest long program of her career, landing five triple jumps, including a triple loop jump. Although Thomas also skated a strong long program, Witt was ranked first by the majority of the nine judges and thus reclaimed the world title.

In 1988, Witt won her sixth consecutive European Championship, equalling the achievement of Sonja Henie as the most successful Ladies Skater at the European Championships. While Witt's and Henie's number of European titles have been surpassed since by Irina Slutskaya, she retains the record of most consecutive European titles, sharing it with Henie.

Both Witt and Thomas were favored contenders in the 1988 Olympic Games. Their rivalry was known as the "Battle of the Carmens", as each woman had independently elected to skate her long program to music from Bizet's opera Carmen. They held the top two spots after the compulsory figures and the short program. Witt skated her long program well, but not spectacularly, landing four triple jumps and downgrading her planned triple loop jump to a double loop. This left room for Thomas to win the long program, but Thomas skated poorly, missing three of her planned five triple jumps. Canadian skater Elizabeth Manley won the long program, but Witt retained her Olympic title based on her overall scores (she had finished ahead of Manley in both the compulsory figures and the short program). Witt became only the second woman in figure skating history (after Sonja Henie) to defend her Olympic title. To honor her and her win in Calgary North Korea issued miniature sheets with three large pictures of Witt on
In 1988, Witt started a professional career, which was unusual for East German athletes. She spent three years on tour in the United States with Brian Boitano, also a gold medalist in figure skating. Their show "Witt and Boitano Skating" was so successful that for the first time in ten years, New York's Madison Square Garden was sold out for an ice show. Later she continued at Holiday on Ice in the United States and in Western Europe.
Katarina Witt at Geneva world championship (1986)
At the 1988 Calgary Olympics
Following the dissolution of East Germany, Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (Stasi) files were found to show that the secret police had worked hard to keep Witt from defecting by giving her cars, accommodations, and permitted travel
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