19. April 2020  
Freiburg, GER  
Artistic Gymnastics

Former German national coach Dieter Hofmann paassed away

Just five weeks after his 79th birthday, Dieter HO F M A N N, the former German gymnastics coach of the GDR men's Olympic silver team from Seoul in 1988, died on the night of April 18 to19, 2020. He was just skiing before in Switzerland when he was torn from the middle of his active life when he was diagnosed with a COVID19 infection in Germany. For over three weeks, the doctors fought for his life in the intensive care unit of the Freiburg / Breisgau University Clinic - to no avail.
Dieter Hofmann was one of the most successful gymnastics coaches and strategists in Germany but also worldwide. In Seoul (1988), he and his team achieved the second best result at Olympic Games that German gymnasts have ever achieved: Silver in the team behind the Soviet Union, gold on the rings (Holger Behrendt), silver on the vault (Sylvio Kroll), and another 3 more Bronze medals - a total of 10 final rankings! In the overall balance, GDR men's gymnastics won 52 gold, silver and bronze medals at major international events under the direction of this Dieter Hofmann ...:

Historical moments: The very first sports team of the unit Germany 1990, two days before the Day of German Reunion: "Artistic Gymnastics Masters GERMANY vs. USA vs. URS in the Olympic Hall of Munich - under the direction of the coaches Dieter Hofmann (GDR) and Franz Heinlein (FRG).


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It was a big shock to hear of the passing of Dieter Hofmann!
I knew him for over 45 years and had many dozens of interactions with him including multiple visits to his home and he and his family to mine. I was able to invite him to give a clinic in Canada in 1989 and had him frequently work with the Canadian Men's Team while I was National Coach. When I was FIG-MTC President, I was pleased to be able to support his efforts to develop the vault table and in 1998 he was part of the expert coach group to develop rational Difficulty Tables for the proposed new Code paradigm. He taught at one of the early academies, was part of developing the FIG Age Group Development and Competition Program and taught at the first four camps to introduce that program. After his years as head coach of the DDR Gymnastics Team, he moved to Liesthal in Switzerland and quickly developed a successful program there. Over the past thirty years he was in constant demand around the world to help with gymnastics programs and was always willing and eager to share his huge knowledge.
The     attached photo montage shows that he and I shared many hundreds of experiences and met in or travelled together to many countries where I often tried to lighten his serious demeanor. He will be missed by the many whose lives he touched. He will live on in our memories. My deep sympathies and condolences to his wife Heide and his son Marian and his family. Rest in Peace, my dear friend.

Hardy FINK, longtime former F.I.G. Director of Education & Academy Programmes
♦ "Gymnastics is complicated. Not because it has to be difficult, but because it should be beautiful!"
Dieter Hofmann often said these words during his lectures or in conversations and they express  how he thought about gymnastics. A view that was repeatedly expressed in the long-standing and unique collaboration with Janssen-Fritsen. His knowledge and passion combined with the technical possibilities that Janssen-Fritsen was able to offer led to improvements in apparatus regarding safety and health for  the gymnasts. Also his ideas of responsible and thorough preparation could be supported with a number of methodical training devices. Immediately after Siegfried Fischer (BRA) from FIG called upon the equipment manufacturers to develop an alternative for the vaulting horse, Dieter fully committed himself to this with the introduction of the Pegases vault at the World Championships Ghent  2001 as the highlight.
We were together at many major events such as the Olympic Games, World Championships and European Championship, and we also got to know each other better on a personal level. The friendship that arose from this continued after his and later my retirement.
The last personal contact I had via Whats App on his birthday on March 12th. I had phoned his home earlier but found out he wasn't there. Dieter was skiing in the mountains that he loved so much. All my thoughts are now with his wife, his son with wife and granddaughter and his family.
Goodbye my friend! It has been  a great honor.
* Hans Teklenburg (former J&F-staff; Netherlands)


* 19-Apr:

Its very sad that our friend Dieter Hofmann  passed away ...! He was also good friend and colleague of mine!
My sadness wishes and all the best to his family ...!

* Prof. Anton Gajdoš, CZE