Lothar Thoms is usually considered to be the greatest track kilo time trialist ever. In addition to his world and Olympic titles, his Olympic victory in 1980 was achieved in a time of 1:02.955, which through 1990 stood as the fastest time ever recorded. His victory margin in that stunning performance was almost two seconds – the most dominant victory ever in the Olympics. In addition to his Olympic gold medal, he won the World Kilometre Time Trial Championship four times between 1977 and 1981, in 1982 he finished second and in 1983 third. In 1977, 1978 and 1983 he also won East German titles.
Thoms was elected East Germany’s Sportsman of the Year in 1981 and also World Cyclist of the Year by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). From 1985 until reunification Thoms worked as a sports administrator in the former GDR, and later was a physiotherapist and administrative employee. In 2012 he had a stroke and fell ill with diabetes. As a result of the disease, he developed a necrotic left leg, which required amputation, shortly before his death.
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