Karin Janz

  • Germany

It was at the 1972 Olympics where Karin Janz won gold on the sport’s biggest stage. There she won five Olympic medals, two golds on the vault and uneven bars, the silver in the all-around and team event, plus a bronze on the balance beam.

Today, Karin Janz is a renowned orthopedic surgeon, and she continues to bring honor to herself and her beloved sport.

It was clear from her very early years, in fact, at 14 months of age, that Karin Janz’s father, who had been a gymnast himself, intended Karin to be a gymnast, too. She was born on February 17, 1952, and began formal training at the age of seven.

By the time she was 14, she was already winning international tournaments like the Tournament of Friendship for Eastern European gymnasts. Her first major medals came at the European Championships in 1967 in Amsterdam, where she won bronze in the vault, silver on bars, and fourth in the all-around. 

The next year, in the 1968 Olympics, in Mexico City, she earned a silver on bars and a bronze in the team competition, as well as fourth on beam and sixth in the all-around. In 1969, Janz’ medals began to turn to gold, as she won the all-around, vault, bars and beam, as well as one silver medal on floor exercise, at the European Championships. 

She continued to win at the 1970 World Championships. She won the bars, a silver on the vault, and a silver in the team competition. Her floor exercise routine was hallmarked by the classic, balletic presentation not often seen today. 

But it was the 1972 Olympics where she won gold on the sport’s biggest stage. There she won five Olympic medals, two golds on the vault and uneven bars, the silver in the all-around and team event, plus a bronze on the balance beam. 

Today, Karin Janz is a renowned orthopedic surgeon, and she continues to bring honor to herself and her beloved sport.  

1968 OLYMPIC GAMES

  • Silver Medalist:
    • Uneven Bars
  • Bronze Medalist:
    • Team

1970 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Gold Medalist & World Champion:
    • Uneven Bars
  • Silver Medalist:
    • Team
    • Vault

1972 OLYMPIC GAMES

  • Gold Medalist and World Champion:
    • Vault
    • Uneven Bars
  • Silver Medalist:
    • All Around
    • Team
  • Bronze Medalist:
    • Balance Beam

2003 INTERNATIONAL GYMNASTICS HALL OF FAME

  • Inducted as a member of the Class of 2003

Induction Speech Video