Kayaking legend Fischer targets London 2012 comeback at 50
Saturday, 07 January 2012
January 7 - German kayaking icon Birgit Fischer (pictured), who has won eight Olympic gold medals and an astonishing 28 World Championship titles, has targeted a comeback at London 2012 when she will be 50-years-old.
Fischer, who reaches half-a-century next month, holds the remarkable distinction of being both the youngest and oldest-ever Olympic kayaking champion after claiming her first gold medal at Moscow 1980 at 18-years-old and her last gold at Athens 2004 at 42-years-old.
After both Seoul 1988 and Sydney 2000, Fischer announced her retirement only to return for the subsequent Games but it appears she could be about to make her most astonishing comeback for London 2012 having retired more than five years ago.
"I want to test my limits," said Fischer.
"Why should I no longer set myself goals at the age of 50?
"I've got blisters all over my hands and feet, I'm giving my all but nothing beats competition."
Her participation in the German Championships in April remains uncertain although she would almost certainly need to compete in the event and perform well in order to qualify for London 2012.
However, Germany's canoeing kayaking head coach Reiner Kiessler feels that Fischer could make the grade and is certainly worthy of attempting a comeback at London 2012.
"I know that Birgit has fixed a deadline to decide on how well she's performing heading up to London 2012," said Kiessler.
"Everyone's free to test."
Should Fischer take part at London 2012, she would become the first German sportsperson to take part in seven Olympic Games.
She twice represented East Germany in 1980 and 1988 but missed the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics after the country boycotted the event.
Fischer then went on to compete four times for the reunited Germany in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004.