The Olympic victory of the GDR handball players in Moscow in 1980 was a sensation. But in unified Germany he does not find the appreciation he deserves, the players from back then – and call for improvement.
The former world-class goalkeeper Wieland Schmidt demands the highest recognition for the GDR handball players who won the only German Olympic gold in Moscow in 1980. Because Heiner Brand, world champion as a player and coach, as well as Erhard Wunderlich, Bernhard Kempa and Joachim Deckarm are represented in the Hall of Fame of German sports, but the GDR handball players are not.
“I find it very, very unfortunate, because we were overall very, very successful. Not only with this team, but also as a single player with our clubs,” Schmidt told the German Press Agency on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Moscow sensation when the team defeated the Russians after extra time.
Wieland Schmidt (archive picture): The goalkeeper coach from HC Leipzig demands more recognition for the Olympic victory of the GDR selection in 1980 in Moscow. (Source: Eibner / imago images)
Schmidt believes that his former team members more than deserve it. “Frank-Michael Wahl, as a record national player and honorary captain of the DHB, who was also a trainer in Hameln, or people with Lothar Doering, who became an Olympic champion as a player and who led our DHB women to the world title as national coach, simply belong in the Hall of Fame “, emphasized the goalkeeper idol from SC Magdeburg, who still works with goalkeeper talents at the DHB or the record champions HC Leipzig.
DHB President Andreas Michelmann wants to use the anniversary again. “The East German Olympic champions from 1980, as well as the West German world champions from 1978, are part of the DNA of German sports and handball history,” said Michelmann when asked to dpa and emphasized: “Some of the 80s Olympic champions had been on the threshold of admission in recent years to the Hall of Fame. We’ll be happy to add the names of our handball heroes again, but the decision is up to a jury. “