Klaus-Dieter Ludwig
Personal information
Born2 January 1943 – 18 May
Died18 May 2016(2016-05-18) (aged 73)
Height170 cm (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Weight55 kg (121 lb)[1]
Medal record
Men's rowing
Representing  East Germany
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1980 Moscow Eight
Silver medal – second place 1972 Munich Coxed four
Friendship Games
Silver medal – second place 1984 Moscow Eight
World Rowing Championships
Gold medal – first place 1966 Bled Coxed four
Gold medal – first place 1975 Nottingham Eight
Gold medal – first place 1979 Bled Eight
Gold medal – first place 1981 Munich Coxed four
Silver medal – second place 1970 St. Catharines Coxed pair
Silver medal – second place 1982 Lucerne Eight
European Rowing Championships
Silver medal – second place 1973 Moscow Coxed four

Klaus-Dieter Ludwig, known as Lucky in rowing circles[1] (2 January 1943 – 18 May 2016), was a German coxswain who competed for East Germany in the 1972 Summer Olympics and in the 1980 Summer Olympics. He had a long rowing career and competed on the international stage for 19 seasons, retiring aged 41.


He was born in 1943 in Züllichau, at the time located in Germany but since the end of World War II part of Poland.[2] He started rowing in 1958 at age 15 but after two or three years, he became a coxswain instead. At 170 cm, he was tall for a cox but he suppressed hunger by heavy smoking to keep his weight at 55 kg, the minimum weight for that role. He competed for the SG Dynamo Potsdam / Sportvereinigung (SV) Dynamo.[1]

Ludwig's first international race was at the 1966 World Rowing Championships in Bled where he won gold with the coxed four.[1]

In 1972 he coxed the East German boat that won the gold medal in the coxed four event.[2] In 1973 he won a silver medal at the European Rowing Championships in Moscow.[3] At the 1980 Olympics he won the gold medal with the East German boat in the men's eight competition.[2] He retired from competitive rowing—aged 41 and after 19 international rowing seasons—after winning silver with the men's eight at the 1984 Friendship Games, dubbed the "alternative Olympics".[1]

Skipping meals, heavy smoking and alcohol consumption took a toll on Ludwig's health. He lived in a care facility since the end of 2015. Shortly before he died on 18 May 2016 he had his stomach removed.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Wendt, Bärbel. "Klaus-Dieter Ludwig "Lucky" in Memoriam" (in German). Potsdamer Ruder-Gesellschaft e.V. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Klaus-Dieter Ludwig". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  3. ^ "(M4+) Men's Coxed Four - Final". International Rowing Federation. 2 September 1973. Retrieved 23 April 2018.