Three-time Olympian swimmer Roger Pyttel was one of the first male swim stars in East Germany. Even in his youth the butterfly specialist won 15 titles at the East German Spartakiade. As a 15-year-old boy he had his first Olympic atmosphere at München in 1972. With the 4x200 freestyle relay he came in sixth, but in both butterfly events he was eliminated in the semifinals and the heats, respectively. Four years later in Montréal he finished a disappointing and unfortunate fourth in both butterflys. He also missed the podium in the 4x200 freestyle relay, placing fifth. Finally, at Moskva in 1980 he won Olympic medals – silver in the 100 fly and bronze in the 200 fly. With the 4x100 medley relay he again finished an unfortunate fourth.
At European Championships Pyttel claimed two medals of each color: gold in the 100 m butterfly both 1974 in Wien (Vienna) and 1977 in Jönköping, and silver in 1977 in the 200 m butterfly and the 4×100 m medley relay. He also won bronze with the 4x100 freestyle relay in 1974, and with the 4x200 freestyle relay in 1977. At the Worlds Pyttel claimed three silver and bronze medals, silver in 1973 with the 4x100 medley relay, and 1977 in the 100 and the 200 m butterfly. The bronze medals were won in 1973 in the 200 m freestyle and with the 4x100 freestyle relay, and 1978 in the 200 freestyle.
In 1976 he set a new world record, becoming the first man to break the 2-minute barrier in the 200 fly with 1:59.63. He later turned to coaching and was married to non-Olympian rower Christa Karnath, although they later divorced. He also worked as a sales agent for some time with a German sports goods company.
Athlete Olympic Results Content