1989 Honor Swimmer
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1980 gold (400m individual medley), silver (400m
freestyle); WORLD RECORDS: 4 (200m, 400m individual medley); WORLD
CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1978 bronze (400m individual medley); 1982 gold (200m, 400m
individual medley), silver (400m freestyle); EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: 3 (200m,
400m individual medley); EUROPEAN RECORDS: 8 (200m, 400m individual medley);
1980, 1982 WORLD SWIMMER; 1979, 1980 EUROPEAN SWIMMER.
"Swimming World" magazine elected her its 1980 and 1982 Swimmer of the year and 1979 and 1980 European Swimmer of the Year. Her greatest rival was U.S.A.'s Tracy Caulkins who beat Petra at the Berlin World Championships in 1978 (Petra was third). After that it was all Schneider when the word's two greatest individual medley swimmers met. Petra lowered Tracy's 4:40.83 world record for the 400 meter I.M. and then brought it down to a 4:39.96 at Leningrad in March, a 4:38.44 at Magdeburg in May and a 4:36.29 at the Moscow Olympics in July. Two years later at the World Championships in Ecuador she reduced her 400 meter I.M. to a mind-boggling 4:36.10.
From this great swimmer, a note on how she does it time after time, "For me
swimming is the most beautiful of al sports. Although I have been training
for very many years and have taken part in a great number of competitions, I
always find something new in this sport. And this I'm sure is greatly to
the credit of my coach, Eberhard Mothes, who takes my training sessions at the
sport club in Karl-Marx-Stradt and never fails to come up with something
interesting or challenging in the course of the work. I am the kind of
person who likes being expected to achieve as much as I possibly can."
© 1989 ISHOF, Inc.