Andrea Pollack (GDR)
Honor Swimmer (1987)
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1976 gold (200m butterfly; relay), silver (100m butterfly; relay); 1980 gold (relay), silver (100m butterfly); WORLD RECORDS: 7 (100m, 200m butterfly; 4 relays); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1978 silver (100m butterfly; relay), bronze (200m butterfly); USA INTERNATIONALS: 1979 gold (100m, 200m butterfly); 1980 gold (200m butterfly); DDR-USSR: 1977 gold (100m butterfly); 1978 gold (100m, 200m butterfly); 1979 gold (100m, 200m butterfly); 1980 gold (100m, 200m butterfly); EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1977 gold (100m butterfly; relay), silver (200m butterfly); EAST GERMANY RECORDS: 9 (100m, 200m butterfly).
Andrea Pollack was the first girl in the world to break a minute for the 100 meter butterfly. She did it as the youngest member of the GDR 400 meter medley relay in Montreal. She had helped the relay qualify for the finals by swimming the freestyle leg to give a rest to 1976 Olympic superstar Kornelia Ender. Ironically, the woman who swam the butterfly in the preliminaries was her dynamo sports club mate Rosemarie Kother-Gabriel, herself queen of the fly and world record holder since 1973.
Not since Alice Jones had been the best swimmer in the world of fly and had given way to Deena Dierdorf, her Cincinnati Marlin teammate in 1967, had a world record holder in her prime done so much to train a younger teammate to take her place. Like Dierdorf, Pollack was a 15 year old “little squirt” when Gabriel blew her horn. Born in Mecklinburg-Schwerin, Pollack had gone to Berlin as a nine year old and literally grew up chasing Gabriel and Ender in the butterfly and crawl until she emerged at Montreal with two gold medals and two silvers. “Without Gabriel, there would be no Pollack,” Andrea said. “Rosemarie taught me everything.” And in 1987 Andrea followed Rosemarie in the International Swimming Hall of Fame by one year.
Doping Disclaimer: In a German court of law, after this swimmer was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, team officials confessed to administering performance enhancing drugs to this swimmer, who therefore obtained an illegal and unfair advantage over other athletes. For more information, click here.