Erika Zuchold was an integral part of East Germany’s rise in women’s gymnastics. She missed the 1964 Olympics due to an Achilles tear, but when she returned to competition, she was one of the leaders of the German team at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics.
Zuchold earned a total of 10 World and Olympic medals. She was known for her impressive Yamashita on vault and is often credited as the first gymnast to perform a back handspring on beam. Today’s fans know her because her name lives on in the Code of Points for the Zuchold transition on uneven bars.
At the 1970 World Championships, Zuchold came back from a meniscus tear (and “other complicated injuries”) and won gold on both vault and beam.
As you’ll see below, she was also a lover of ice cream.
What follows is a profile of Zuchold that ran in Neue Zeit right before the Olympic Games.