At the age of 17, Monika Pflug took the speed skating world by storm. In the 1972 season, she won the World Sprint Championships, earned an Olympic gold in the 1,000 metres at Sapporo, and broke the world record in the sprint combination. While it would remain her best year, Monika Pflug would remain a well-known face in the skating world for the next 15 years, disappearing briefly to become a mother. In that period, she enjoyed three more World Sprint podium finishes, placing third in 1973, 1974 and 1982. She also tried her hand at all-round skating, coming fourth at the 1973 European Championships. Her collection of West German titles is impressive, winning the all-round crown 8 times (1971-76, 1981-82) and the sprint title 8 times (1975, 1979, 1981-84, 1986-87).
After marrying to Franz Holzner in 1974, she competed as Monika Holzner-Pflug for much of her remaining career. Before this marriage there was an extreme battle with her father, and then manager, whom she had to claim her due to marry. Following a divorce, and marriage to fellow speed skater Fritz Gawenus, she competed under that name in the final years of her career.
Personal Bests: 500 – 40.53 (1988); 1000 – 1:23.47 (1984); 1500 – 2:11.26 (1986); 3000 – 4:54.49 (1981).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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