Speed Skating Hall of Fame

Christa Luding-Rothenburger

Born: December 4, 1959 - Dresden (GDR)

Christa Rothenburger, from Dresden, was one of the best sprinters of the world for more than a decade. She started her international career by winning a bronze in the World Sprint Championships 1979 and she finished with a bronze 13 years later. In the meantime she won two World sprint titles and two Olympic titles; 500 meters in 1984 and 1000 meters in 1988. She had no luck in her first Olympic Games in 1980. In 1992 she took part in her fourth Olympic Games and won a bronze on the 500 meters.

In 1980 her coach, Ernst Luding, whom she married after the Calgary Games 1988, convinced her to take up cycling in the off-season. She had to go a long way to enter international cycling competitions. She was told to stick to skating, but finally the president of East Germany's sports federation gave her permission. She won the women's match sprint title at the 1986 World Cycling Championships and placed 2nd the following year. In the Olympic Summer Games in Seoul 1988, she placed 2nd in the sprint match, becoming the first athlete, male or female, to win Olympic medals in the Winter and Summer Olympics the same year.

In March 1983 she was the first female skater to break the 40 seconds barrier on 500 meters when she did 39,6 at Medeo. 5 years later she was the first to skate a sub 1.18.00 1000 meters, when she did 1.17,65 in Calgary. This was still a World Record when the speed skaters entered the klap skate era, almost 10 years later.

Bjarte Hetland, December 22, 2013

Career summary


Podia at championships

yearpositionchampionshipplace
19793 World Championship SprintInzellFRG
19833 World Championship SprintHelsinkiFIN
19841 Olympic Winter Games 500 metersSarajevoYUG
19851 World Championship SprintHeerenveenNED
19862 World Championship SprintKaruizawaJPN
19873 World Championship SprintSainte-FoyCAN
19882 Olympic Winter Games 500 metersCalgaryCAN
1 Olympic Winter Games 1000 metersCalgaryCAN
1 World Championship SprintWest AllisUSA
19892 World Championship SprintHeerenveenNED
19923 Olympic Winter Games 500 metersAlbertvilleFRA
3 World Championship SprintOsloNOR

World Records

#disciplinerecorddateplace
11000 meters1:20.95Mar 27, 1981MedeoKAZ
2500 meters0:40.28Mar 27, 1981MedeoKAZ
3500 meters0:40.18Mar 28, 1981MedeoKAZ
4Sprint combination162.275Mar 27/28, 1981MedeoKAZ
5500 meters0:39.69Mar 25, 1983MedeoKAZ
6Sprint combination161.120Mar 25/26, 1983MedeoKAZ
7500 meters0:39.39Dec 6, 1987CalgaryCAN
81000 meters1:17.65Feb 26, 1988CalgaryCAN

Personal Bests

distancetimedateplace
500m0:39.12Feb 22, 1988CalgaryCAN
1000m1:17.65Feb 26, 1988CalgaryCAN
1500m2:05.83Jan 16, 1988DavosSUI
3000m4:50.59Jan 17, 1982DavosSUI