Federal Republic of Germany
TeamFederal Republic of Germany
Olympic Medals
Games Participations2
First Olympic GamesMunich 1972
Year of Birth1942


West German race walker Bernd Kannenberg won the gold medal in the 50 km at the 1972 München Games. In 1972 and 1976 he also competed in the 20 km, but did not finish either time. Earlier in 1972 he became the first German race walker to beat 4 hours for 50 km. During his career, he set five world records at different distances. He also placed ninth in the 20 km at the 1971 European Championships and the 50 km at the 1974 Europeans, also claiming the silver medal over 20 km. Domestically he won six outdoor and four indoor titles.

Kannenberg was born in Kaliningrad, then German Königsberg in East Prussia. His family was among the displaced people who fled across the Baltic Sea, with the legendary "Wilhelm Gustloff", the German cruise ship which was sunk on 30 January 1945 by a Soviet submarine, first to Denmark, then to Reitzenhain / Erzgebirge and ending up in Ronneburg / Thuringia. His family then emigrated with him legally in 1955 from Thuringia to West Berlin. In 1972 he was awarded the Silver Bay Leaf and in 1974 the Rudolf-Harbig-Gedächtnispreis (Memory Award). Kannenberg was a professional soldier and was based at the sports school of the German Bundeswehr at Warendorf. For some years he worked as the national coach for German race walkers, but chronic injuries forced him to retire.

Personal Bests: 20kmW – 1-24:45t (1974); 50kmW – 3-52:45 (1972).

Olympic Results

Athlete Olympic Results Content

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