Peter-Michael Kolbe: Former rowing star has died

Peter Michael Kolbe
Former rowing star has died

The rowing world mourns Peter-Michael Kolbe.

© Imago Images/Sven Simon

The former German rower Peter-Michael Kolbe is dead. The five-time world champion and European champion died at the age of 70.

Former German professional rower Peter-Michael Kolbe has died at the age of 70. This was confirmed by the German Rowing Association (DRV) the “mirror”. Accordingly, Kolbe suffered from dementia and most recently lived in a nursing home in Lübeck. “We remember Peter-Michael Kolbe as a somewhat stubborn Hanseatic with a dry sense of humour, his own will and a lifelong love of boats and remember him with great appreciation. We will not forget him,” it says on the website of the DRV.

Legend of German sport

Kolbe grew up in Hamburg and learned rowing at Hammerdeicher RV. In 1975 he won his first world title in the men’s single sculls. In the 1970s and 1980s, Kolbe was celebrated as one of the world’s best single rowers. He won 13 international medals in 15 years, including the European title and three silver medals at the Olympic Games. However, he was denied Olympic victory. There were several duels with the Finn Pertti Karppinen (70), who won the games in 1976 and 1984. In 1975, Kolbe was the only individual rower to be named Sportsman of the Year for one of his five world championship titles.

In 1988 Kolbe was honored with the Federal Cross of Merit. The rower ended his active career in 1989 and worked as sports director in the German Rowing Association until 1994. He lived temporarily in Oslo, finally returned to his hometown of Hamburg in the early 2000s and then lived in Lübeck.


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