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Birth Name(s) : Katarina Witt
Date of Birth: December 3, 1965
Status: Single
Partner: N/A
Profession: Actor/Athlete

Katarina Witt Biography
Katarina Witt was born on December 3rd, 1965, in Staaken, East Germany. Her father, Manfred, managed an agricultural products factory, while her mother, Kathe, was a physical therapist. Rounding out the Witt family was Katarina's brother Axel, also an athlete, who trained to be a physical therapist like his mother. Coincidentally, Axel would later marry Anett Potzsch, the 1980 Olympic figure skating gold medalist, who was a pupil of Katarina's skating coach.

Katarina was drawn to skating from the start. Every day, on her way to school, Katarina would pass by the Kuchwald Ice Arena, and pestered her mother to let her try skating. Once Kathe agreed, it was clear that Katarina was a natural. It wasn't long before the director of the Karl-Marx-Stadt sports school, Bernd Egert, spotted her and admitted her to the school.

By the early 1980s, Katarina was clearly a champion on the way up. In 1982, she took home silver medals from both the European and World Figure Skating Championships. The next year, Katarina won the European Championship, and won it six consecutive times from 1983 through 1988. Meanwhile, she won the gold at the World Championship in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988. These achievements were capped with a gold medal at the 1984 Olympic games in Sarajevo and the 1988 Olympic games in Calgary. In half a dozen years, Katarina had racked up more titles than anyone before her.

Following her second Olympic gold, Katarina turned pro. For the next three years, she toured America with fellow gold medalist Brian Boitano in "Witt and Boitano Skating." Their show was enormously popular, marking, for example, the first time in a decade that Madison Square Garden was sold out for an ice show.

The 1990s saw Katarina take off in new directions -- though she never left skating behind. Katarina worked as a commentator for German television coverage of skating championships and for CBS' coverage of the 1992 Albertville Olympics. Katarina competed in the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, finishing in 7th place. In 1995, Katarina became the first German to win the Jim Thorpe Pro Sports Award, and, over the next few years, toured as part of the Stars on Ice show and took part in international professional competitions.

At the same time, Katarina took up acting, appearing in telefilms such as Carmen on Ice (1990) -- for which she won an Emmy award -- and The Ice Princess (1995).

Starting in 1996, she guest starred and had cameo roles in TV shows such as Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, Arliss, and VIP, and appeared in the film Jerry Maguire (1996) and the Robert De Niro thriller Ronin (1998).

And if that weren't enough, between media appearances, Katarina had the time to pursue another hobby, painting, and even founded her own international sports and entertainment company.

Additional Katarina Witt Biography
Katarina Witt (born December 3, 1965) is a German figure skater, in Germany she was commonly affectionately called "Kati" in the past, but today her full name is used more often.

She won two Olympic gold medals for East Germany, first in the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics and the second in 1988 at the Calgary Olympics. She won the World Championships in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988, and six consecutive European Championships (1983-1988). Her competitive record makes her one of the most successful figure skaters of all time.

Katarina Witt was born in Staaken in then-East Germany, just outside of West Berlin, which is today part of Berlin. She went to school in Karl-Marx-Stadt (which today has reverted to its pre-war name of Chemnitz). There she attended a special school for sports-talented children, named Kinder- und Jugendsportschule. She represented the club SC Karl-Marx-Stadt for the GDR (East Germany). Jutta Müller began coaching her in 1970.

In 1984, Katarina Witt was voted "GDR female athlete of the year" by the readers of the East German newspaper junge Welt. She narrowly won the 1984 Olympic title over the favored contender, reigning World champion Rosalynn Sumners of the United States. Witt and Sumners held the top two spots heading into the Olympic free skate, worth 50% of the total score. Witt landed three triple jumps in her free skate program (or long program), and the judges left room for Sumners to win the event, but Sumners scaled back two of her jumps, and Witt won the long program by one tenth of a point on one judge's scorecard.

In 1987, Witt recaptured the World Championship title, which she had lost the previous year to Debi Thomas. Many consider her performance at this event to be the finest of her career. Witt only finished fifth in compulsory figures, which meant that Thomas could finish second in both the short and long programs and still retain the world title. However, a costly error by Thomas in the short program put the two skaters on a level playing field heading into the free skate. Witt skated the strongest long program of her career, landing 5 triple jumps, including a triple loop jump. Although Thomas also skated a strong long program, Witt was ranked first by the majority of the 9 judges and thus reclaimed the world title.

Both Witt and Thomas were the favored contenders for the 1988 Olympic title. Their rivalry was known as the "Battle of the Carmens", as each woman had independently elected to skate her long program to music from Bizet's opera Carmen. They held the top two spots after the compulsory figures and the short program. Witt skated her long program well, but not spectacularly, landing 4 triple jumps and downgrading her planned triple loop jump to a double loop. This left room for Thomas to win the long program, but Thomas skated poorly, missing 3 of her planned 5 triple jumps. Canadian skater Elizabeth Manley actually won the long program, but Katarina Witt retained her Olympic title based on her overall scores (she had finished ahead of Elizabeth Manley in both the compulsory figures and the short program). Katarina Witt became only the second woman in figure skating history (after Sonja Henie) to defend her Olympic title.

In 1988, Witt started a professional career, which was very unusual for East German athletes. At first she spent three years on tour in the United States with Brian Boitano, also a gold medalist in figure skating. Their show "Witt and Boitano Skating" was so successful that for the first time in ten years, New York's Madison Square Garden was sold out for an ice show. Later she continued at Holiday on Ice in the United States and in Western Europe.

She also became an actress in the film Carmen on Ice (1989), which expanded upon her gold medal freestyle routine at Calgary. In 1990, she received an Emmy Award for her role in this film.

In December 1998, Witt posed nude for Playboy Magazine. The issue in which these photos were published was the second sold-out issue of this magazine. (The first sold-out issue was the inaugural one including photos of Marilyn Monroe.) Many were surprised by the inclusion of full-frontal nudity in the Witt pictorial. Also in 1998, Witt appeared in the movie Ronin with a small supporting role and several lines of script. Around this time, she also played a villain in an episode of the tongue-in-cheek television series, V.I.P..

In 1999, she was voted "Favorite Female Athlete in the United States," as well as "Favorite Female Skater of the Century."

Witt has been known for her beauty and sex appeal as well as for her athleticism. Time magazine called her “the most beautiful face of socialism.” At the peak of her career, she was thought by some to resemble Brooke Shields, both of whom were in their late teens / early 20s at the time.

Witt has been invited to Istanbul as an honored guest for a popular skating competition TV show called Buzda Dans (Dance on Ice). The competition took place on February 25, 2007.
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Katarina Witt Quote(s)
When I go out on the ice, I just think about my skating. I forget it is a competition.