Thomas Lange (born 27 February 1964) is a German rower who won two gold and one bronze Olympic medals in the single scull. He was born in Eisleben.
Lange, along with legends, Pertti Karppinen, Peter-Michael Kolbe, and Vyacheslav Ivanov are the only rowers to win medals in the single scull in three different Olympics.
His first international appearance was at the 1980 Junior World Rowing Championships – winning gold medal in the double scull (2x) and besting the favorite Steven Redgrave in doing so. He then went on to win the singles title in the next two Junior World Championships.
He first competed at the senior level in 1983, and at the age of 19, won the double scull at the World Rowing Championships with Uwe Heppner, which they repeated in 1985. Lange and Heppner would have been the favorites for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, but East Germany chose to boycott the games.
In 1986, Lange moved into the single scull. However, illness prevented him from competing that year. But in 1987 he was healthy and he won his first World Championship in the single scull besting Pertti Karppinen and Peter-Michael Kolbe who between then had won 10 of the previous 12 World and Olympic titles. Lange repeated this feat by winning the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. In 1989 he again won the World Championship.
But East Germany was disintegrating and Lange was beginning his studies as a Medical Doctor. His father was a member of the Stasi who committed suicide the day the Berlin Wall fell. Despite his demanding schedule and the emotional angst of his country’s disintegration, in 1990, with Stephan Ulrich, Lange won a silver medal in the Double scull.
In 1991, representing the new German nation (what had been West Germany), Lange again won the Gold medal in the single scull at the World Championships. At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Lange was a repeat winner in the single. For Lange, this was his fifth straight (non-consecutive) World Championship or Olympic victory in the single scull.
Lange would go on to take third at the 1993 World championships, take 1994 off to concentrate on his medical studies, finish out of the running in the 1995 World Championships, and come back to claim a bronze medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics behind Switzerland’s Xeno Müller and Canada’s Derek Porter.
Today, Lange is a medical doctor practicing in Ratzeburg, Germany, and he still rows occasionally.
I really like this video. I enjoy very much looking at him rowing on Macon blades with a perfect timing at the catch and an amazing drive. It is very interesting to see the sequence of his body parts during the drive and recovery at low rates and race pace. The release is clean and perfect. Enjoy this video because we are so lucky to be able to enjoy it! A good friend loaded his VHS tape into digital and uploaded to Youtube for all of us to enjoy! Thank you!