1 minute read

Ekaterina Karsten - First Olympic Hero For Belarus

Famous Sports StarsOther SportsEkaterina Karsten Biography - Quickly Became A National Champion, First Olympic Hero For Belarus, Close Finish, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - CONTACT INFORMATION

First Olympic Hero for Belarus

Karsten was prepared for her next Olympic appearance in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996. At the age of twenty-four she took first place in the single sculls competition. This time she was competing for the independent nation of Belarus and she won the first gold medal for the new country. In the final she defeated Silken Laumann, who was the favorite from Canada. Karsten returned to her home country as a national hero. She was welcomed not only with public recognition, but also with rewards, such as assistance buying an apartment, which was a luxury at that time.

Karsten's celebration was cut short when only six months later her father, her biggest supporter, was killed in a car crash. However, Karsten was able to overcome her grief and continue training for her best year yet. In 1997 Karsten won a gold medal in the single sculls at the World Championships. She also won World Cup regattas at Lucerne, Paris, and Munich, which led to her victory as overall champion in the single sculls at the World Cup.

Karsten took a break from rowing in 1998 to marry Wilfred Karsten of Potsdam, Germany. On May 12, 1998 she gave birth to her daughter, Alexandra. By December of 1998 Karsten returned to training. She and her family now lived in Potsdam, but she split her training time between Minsk and Potsdam. She retained her Belarussian coach, Anatoliy Kviatkovskiy, who traveled twelve hours from Minsk to Potsdam once a month to check up on Karsten. Karsten found it difficult to maintain her training regiment after having a baby and she considered retiring from rowing. However, she did not give up and she won yet another World Championship in single sculls in 1999. She also set a world-best time of seven minutes and 11.68 seconds.

Additional topics