Richard Reinstaedtler (GER)

Honor Masters Swimmer (2005)

The information on this page was written the year of their induction.

INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: World Points – 901, Pre-1986 Points – 0, Total Points – 901; Since 1970, he has competed in seven age groups (60-65 thru 90-94); 43 FINA MASTERS WORLD RECORDS;

In 1924, at the age of twelve, young Richard Reinstaedtler joined the swim club ‘Freie Schwimmer Duesseldorf’ where he learned to swim. Although his main emphasis was in swimming and handball, a talented athlete, Richard also participated in diving, water polo and track & field. As he got older, Richard was able to mix his sports training with a technician apprenticeship while he prepared for engineering college. In 1933, Hitler started the coordination of all sport clubs and Richard was able to place a sport emphasis on swimming and water polo in Duesseldorf’s swim club ‘DSC 98’, and handball in Germany’s best league ‘TUS Gerresheim.’

In the meantime, he finished engineering college and in 1936 started working in a rolling-mill and hydraulic compressor producing company in Duesseldorf.  World War II greatly affected his professional and athletic careers as he was called to army service in the fall of 1943. During the next year, he was assigned to work on technical standards for the V2 at Wernher von Braun Military Service Arsenal in Pennemuende.

He was married in July of 1944 and in September, he was delegated to Vienna’s technical college, where he worked with Prof. Loesel on the development of a portable power station. He remained there until the end of the war, and then four weeks later he was able to return to his old company in Duesseldorf. Throughout these turbulent years there was hardly time for intense physical activity.

After the war he restarted his swimming, water polo, and handball careers at his former club ‘Freie Schwimmer’ and began to take part in the first swimming competitions that later became Masters meets and championships. In 1958, he competed in his first German Swimming Championship for older folks and placed second in his age group in the 50m backstroke. He has taken part in 40 German Masters Championships for long and short course competitions winning 46 German titles and 48 vice titles. He has competed in many foreign swim championships in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Luxemburg, and Austria.

His job as chief engineer of the company required extended travel abroad to South-East Europe, North and South America, Africa, and China, not allowing him the time to swim.

However, with his retirement at age 65 in 1974, he was able to spend more time focusing on swimming and competing in international events. At the first unofficial Masters World Championships in Toronto in 1985 he placed second in the 50 meter, 100 meter, and 200 meter backstroke events, as well as in the diving event. The following year at the second unofficial World Championships in Brisbane he won the 50 meter, 100 meter, and 200 meter backstroke and placed third in the 50 meter freestyle and 200 meter individual medley. At that meet he set four World records in his age group (75-79) in the backstroke events and in the 100 meter individual medley.

Since that time Richard has competed in five European Championships, winning 18 European and 10 Vice European titles. He has competed in six FINA Masters World Championships with 30 individual starts, winning 17 gold medals, 10 silver medals and 3 bronze medals.

Richard has set 43 FINA Masters World Records. One of his greatest successes is listed in the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records when he broke 6 World records in one day at Ingelheim in 1997.

In 2003 at the age of 90, Richard achieved the requirements for the German Sports Certificate of the German Sports Association (DSB) for the thirty-first time. Since the last listed requirements are for the 75-80 age group, he had to achieve the requirements for this much-younger age group, fifteen years his junior.

In FINA Masters competition, Richard has acquired 75 number one, 38 number two and 24 number three world rankings.