Karin Enke

Karin Enke

Karin Enke (born 20 June 1961 in Dresden, East Germany), also known as Karin Busch(-Enke), Karin Kania(-Enke), and Karin Enke-Richter, is a former speed skater, one of the most dominant ones of the 1980s.

hort biography

Karin Enke started her sport career as a figure skater at the club SC Einheit Dresden. Representing East-Germany she came in 9th 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 5 distances in 1983), Enke was the favourite for all 4 distances at the 1984 Winter Olympics of Sarajevo, but she won "only" 2 gold and 2 silver medals. At the World Cup, Enke had 21 Single Distance victories, but won only one overall World Cup. She retired from speed skating after the 1987/1988 season.

Born as "Karin Enke", she married in 1981 and competed as "Karin Busch" during the 1981/1982 winter. The marriage did not last long and during the 1982/1983 and 1983/1984 winters, she competed as "Karin Enke" again. After marrying her long-time 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 she – a skater with a name unfamiliar to them – suddenly won major titles in her "first" season. Commentators were apt to make remarks like "Karin Kania is the skater we knew as Karin Enke last season" and some commentators even, half-jokingly, made remarks like "I wonder what her name will be next 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.


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

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 1,000 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.


* [http://www.skateresults.com/skater/show/243 Karin Enke at SkateResults.com]
* [http://www.desg.de/skater.php?anzeige=skater&skater=255 Karin Enke at DESG ("Deutsche Eisschnelllauf Gemeinschaft")] (in German)


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