Born in Gera, East Germany, Heike Drechsler's father died when she was very young, but she overcame that to become one of the most impressive German track & field athletes, first representing East Germany and later Germany after the reunification. At the 1988 Seoul Olympics she earned bronze medals in the 100 and 200 m, and silver in the long jump, later winning long jump gold medals in 1992 and 2000. Her list of championships is long, including gold medals in the long jump at the 1983 and 1993 World Championships, four consecutive titles at the European Championships (1986-98), the 1987 Indoor World Championships, four Indoor European Championships – 1986-88 and 1994, the 1992 Grand-Prix Title, World Cup Champion in 1985, 1992 and 1998, six-time European Cup champion and nine-time German Champion. Drechsler set five outdoor world records, two in the 200, and three in the long jump, and eight indoor world records, one in the 200 and seven in the long jump. During her career Drechsler earned numerous awards: 1986 East German Sportswoman of the Year, 1998 and 2000 German Sportswoman of the Year, Female Long Jumper of the Century by the magazine Track & Field News, the Distinguished Career Award by the IAAF in 2000, Rudolf-Harbig-Gedächtnispreis in 1999, and the German TV award BAMBI in 1998 and 2000.
Drechsler studied pedagogy and later made her living as a sports manager. Until the reunification of Germany she was a member of the SED Central Party and a member of Parliament. Between 1986-88 the East German Stasi (Staatssicherheit) listed her on their records, but she always denied any activities for them. In 1984 she married Andreas Drechsler, whose father Erich was her long-time coach, even after their 1997 divorce. From 1995 to 2007 she was the partner of former French decathlete Alain Blondel. Much of her free time is now spent with charitable concerns, including the Deutsche Kinderkrebshilfe (for childrens' cancer), Hänsel und Gretel (against childrens' abuse), People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) (she posed erotically for them in 2002) and Myelin Projekt Deutschland (multiple sclerosis). In 2014 she was inducted into the International Track and Field Hall of Fame as the first German woman along with Marita Koch. Drechsler later married former Finnish Olympic hurdler Arto Bryggare.
Personal Bests: 100 – 10.91 (1986/88); 200 – 21.71 (1986); LJ – 7.48 (1988/92); Hep – 6741 (1994).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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