BIATHLON HISTORY – Leading Figures of Biathlon in Germany
In the early eighties, the promotion of young talent in the region brought forth two exceptional athletes: Peter Angerer and Fritz Fischer. Their skills, along with excellent event management, contributed to Ruhpolding becoming a traditional location for holding the Biathlon World Cups to this day. Like so many other Nordic sports rookies, they came from the army funded elite sport program and their successes were a crucial aspect of biathlon becoming an attractive competitive discipline. Both athletes shaped biathlon in Germany during its crucial developmental phase. The two new-comers fascinated spectators with their accomplishments for over ten years; this led to a veritable biathlon-euphoria in Germany. For years they were a dual success-story and the dramatics of their competitive achievements led to medals and top rankings not only in Ruhpolding, but also at World Championships and Winter Olympic Games including Lake Placid in 1980, Sarajevo in 1984 and Calgary in 1988. In addition, both won biathlon’s most desirable annual trophy, the Overall World Cup. Their successes were no accident. Preparing in those days involved skiing over 6,000 – 7,000 kilometers each season and shooting around 10,000 practice shots. Their obvious love of the sport and fun while training out-shone all the hard work. They were always whole-heartedly involved and inspired athletes such as Pichler and Fritzenwenger to strive for maximum achievement. The manner in which they won the relay races was, and remains, one of the highlights in the history of biathlon.
FRITZ FISCHER (* 1956)
Fritz Fischer’s biathlon history is an incredible story. He was born in Kehlheim and at 18 was discovered by coincidence while participating in a long distance run during his army service. He was then introduced to biathlon during his military training. As a member of the German National Biathlon Team from 1980 to 1993, he won a gold medal in the relay race in 1992 at the Olympic Games in Albertville. Fischer won the prestigious Overall World Cup in 1988. After his active career, he was the trainer for the German National Men’s Team for several years and substantially contributed to their achievements. Currently, he runs the “Fritz Fischer Biathlon Camp” in Ruhpolding, through which he successfully scouts for new talent.