The Most Famous

SKATERS from Germany

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This page contains a list of the greatest German Skaters. The pantheon dataset contains 313 Skaters, 22 of which were born in Germany. This makes Germany the birth place of the 5th most number of Skaters behind Netherlands and Canada.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary German Skaters of all time. This list of famous German Skaters is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of German Skaters.

Photo of Katarina Witt

1. Katarina Witt (1965 - )

With an HPI of 64.76, Katarina Witt is the most famous German Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 35 different languages on wikipedia.

Katarina Witt (German pronunciation: [ˈkataʁiːna vɪt], audio ; born 3 December 1965) is a German former figure skater. A two-time Olympic champion, Witt is regarded as one of the greatest ladies' singles figure skaters of all time. Her Laureus profile states "she is remembered most for her overall athleticism, her charismatic appeal and her glamorous image on the ice."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. She is one of only two skaters to defend a ladies' singles Olympic title, the other being Norwegian Sonja Henie. Witt is a four-time World Champion (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988) and two-time World silver medalist (1982, 1986). She won six consecutive European Championships (1983–1988), a feat only equalled by Sonja Henie among female skaters. Between 1984 and 1988, Witt won ten golds from eleven major international events, making her one of the most successful figure skaters. Retiring from competitive skating after defending her Olympic title in 1988, Witt reappeared at the 1994 Winter Olympics where she represented a reunified Germany while skating a Robin Hood-themed program, a comeback peformance which saw her receive the Goldene Kamera award. Since her subsequent retirement, Witt has worked in film and television.

Photo of Anna Hübler

2. Anna Hübler (1885 - 1976)

With an HPI of 60.86, Anna Hübler is the 2nd most famous German Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Anna "Annie" Hübler (2 January 1885 – 5 July 1976) was a German pair skater, born in Munich. She was an Olympic champion and two-time World champion with skating partner Heinrich Burger.Hübler and Burger were the first World champions and the first Olympic champions in pairs figure skating. They never became European champions, because the European championships did not include a pairs competition until 1930. They skated for the club Münchener EV (Munich EV). Hübler was the first female German Olympic champion. (The first woman winning an Olympic medal for Germany was the single skater Elsa Rendschmidt. She won silver in 1908.) After retiring from figure skating, Hübler became a singer and actress. She later owned a department store.

Photo of Ludowika Jakobsson

3. Ludowika Jakobsson (1884 - 1968)

With an HPI of 60.27, Ludowika Jakobsson is the 3rd most famous German Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Ludovika Antje Margareta Jakobsson-Eilers (née Eilers, 25 July 1884 – 1 November 1968) was a German-Finnish figure skater. Competing in pair skating with her husband Walter Jakobsson, she won the gold medal at the 1920 Summer Olympics, where she was the only German-born athlete, and became the oldest female figure skating Olympic champion. The pair also earned three world titles, in 1911, 1914 and 1923, and finished second and fifth at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, respectively. Eilers also had some success in single skating, winning a bronze medal at the 1911 World Championships.

Photo of Ernst Baier

4. Ernst Baier (1905 - 2001)

With an HPI of 59.40, Ernst Baier is the 4th most famous German Skater.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Ernst Baier (27 September 1905 in Zittau, Saxony, Germany – 8 July 2001 in Garmisch, Bavaria, Germany) was a German figure skater who competed in pair skating and single skating. He became Olympic pair champion in 1936 together with Maxi Herber. The duo also won several World and European championships. Ernst Baier skated for the club Berliner SC. He also enjoyed success as a single skater. He won silver at European, World and Olympic games in singles. Maxi Herber and Ernst Baier revolutionized pair skating by performing the first side by side jumps in competition. After the Second World War they skated in ice revues. Later the couple owned a business. Maxi Herber and Ernst Baier married after their skating career in 1940. They had 3 children. In 1964 they were divorced. On 15 May 1965 he married the Swedish figure skater Birgitta Wennström (born 10 November 1935 in Enskede, Stockholm, Sweden) known by the stage name "Topsy" from Holiday on Ice together with her partner Steve. They had a daughter in 1968, but divorced in 1973. Some years later he remarried Maxi Herber, but they later divorced again.

Photo of Heinrich Burger

5. Heinrich Burger (1881 - 1942)

With an HPI of 59.35, Heinrich Burger is the 5th most famous German Skater.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Heinrich Burger (31 May 1881 – 27 April 1942) was a German figure skater. He competed in both singles and pairs events. He was Olympic champion and two-time World champion together with Anna Hübler.Burger and Hübler were the first world champions and the first Olympic champions in pairs figure skating. They never became European champions, because the European championships did not include a pairs competition until 1930. They skated for the club Müchener EV (Munich EV). Heinrich Burger was also a lawyer in Munich.

Photo of Gabriele Seyfert

6. Gabriele Seyfert (1948 - )

With an HPI of 59.33, Gabriele Seyfert is the 6th most famous German Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Gabriele "Gaby" Seyfert (later Rüger, then Messerschmidt, now Körner, born 23 November 1948) is a German former figure skater. She is a two-time World champion (1969, 1970), and the 1968 Olympic silver medalist.

Photo of Maxi Herber

7. Maxi Herber (1920 - 2006)

With an HPI of 58.72, Maxi Herber is the 7th most famous German Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Maxi Herber (8 October 1920 – 20 October 2006) was a German figure skater who competed in pair skating and single skating. She is the youngest figure skating Olympic champion (at the age of 15 years and 128 days) when she won gold in pair skating together with Ernst Baier at the 1936 Winter Olympics. Born in Munich, Herber was also an accomplished single skater, winning the German nationals three times, from 1933 to 1935. She skated for the Münchner EV (Munich EV) club. Herber and Baier married after their skating career ended in 1940. They had 3 children. After World War II they skated in ice shows. Later the couple owned a business. In 1964 they were divorced. Supported by the "Deutsche Sporthilfe" (German Sport help organisation) she moved to Oberau near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria. Some years later Herber and Baier remarried, but were divorced again. Herber suffered from Parkinson's disease. In 2000, she moved to the Lenzheim retirement home in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Soon afterwards she had an exhibition of her watercolor paintings there. She died at age 86 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Photo of Ria Baran

8. Ria Baran (1922 - 1986)

With an HPI of 57.80, Ria Baran is the 8th most famous German Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Ria Baran (German pronunciation: [ˈʁiːa baˈʁaːn] (listen); 2 November 1922 in Dortmund, Germany – 12 November 1986) was a German pair skater. She skated together with Paul Falk and twice became World champion and in 1952 Olympic champion. She was one of the oldest female figure skating Olympic champions. Ria Baran married Paul Falk during her active international figure skating. Therefore she is sometime listed as Ria Baran-Falk or Ria Falk. The pair skated for the club Düsseldorfer EG and had no coach. Until 1951 Ria Baran and Paul Falk were not able to participate in international competitions because Germany was excluded from the international sport after World War II. They were the first couple which performed side by side double jumps and they also invented the Lasso-Lift. Baran and Falk were never defeated in amateur competition. Between 1950 and 1952 Ria Baran was voted 3 times running as the female athlete of the year in Germany. After winning the Olympics in 1952 they turned pro and worked for Holiday on Ice. Baran later worked as a secretary.

Photo of Paul Falk

9. Paul Falk (1921 - 2017)

With an HPI of 57.39, Paul Falk is the 9th most famous German Skater.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Paul Falk (German pronunciation: [paʊ̯l ˈfalk] (listen); 21 December 1921 – 20 May 2017) was a German pair skater. Born in Dortmund, Germany, he skated with Ria Baran and became two-time World champion and 1952 Olympic champion. Baran and Falk married during their active international figure skating.The pair skated for the club Düsseldorfer EG and had no coach. Until 1951 Baran and Falk were not able to participate in international competitions because Germany was excluded from international sport after World War II. They were the first couple who performed side by side double jumps and they also invented the Lasso-Lift. Baran and Falk were never defeated in amateur competition. In 1951 Falk was voted the male athlete of the year in Germany. After winning the Olympics in 1952 they turned professional and worked for Holiday on Ice. Falk's profession outside athletics was as a precision mechanic. In 1993 pair were inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. He died 8 and a half months before Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot won the gold medal for pairs skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Photo of Karin Enke

10. Karin Enke (1961 - )

With an HPI of 55.41, Karin Enke is the 10th most famous German Skater.  Her biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

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.

Pantheon has 22 people classified as skaters born between 1881 and 1991. Of these 22, 15 (68.18%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living skaters include Katarina Witt, Gabriele Seyfert, and Karin Enke. The most famous deceased skaters include Anna Hübler, Ludowika Jakobsson, and Ernst Baier. As of October 2020, 7 new skaters have been added to Pantheon including Anna Hübler, Ernst Baier, and Maxi Herber.

Living Skaters

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Deceased Skaters

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Newly Added Skaters (2020)

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Which Skaters were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 7 most globally memorable Skaters since 1700.