Anecdotes of sports medicine - Hartmuth Hommel

For the ten-year jubilee of the Limburg Sports Medicine Congress, which was held at the end of November 1991, I invited Hartmuth Hommel (1939-), who discussed the subject 'Sports and Pregnancy'.

For ten years Hommel was the gynecologist and endocrinologist of the 'Sportmedizinischen Dienst der DDR' in Rostock until the fall of the wall and had, among others, Marita Koch (1957-) in his care, the East German top athlete who won gold in the 400m at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. In 1985 she set a historic world record on that event, because her 47.60 is still not improved. In total she improved 16 world records outdoor and 14 world records indoor. She won 2 world titles 200m and seven European titles 400m. She lived in Rostock, just like Hommel, where she ran a boutique.

When Hommel came in 1991 to give his first lecture, he had not fully adapted from the stringent DDR era. A small anecdote clarifies this, because at a certain moment he told me he was ashamed. He had to wait seven years for the delivery of his previous car and now he was already thinking six months about which new car he would buy.

The following year he was present again and treated the subject 'The sports woman in menopause, as well as critical aspects of menopause in top athletes'.

In 1996 he made a third and final appearance, together with his son Hagen (1966-), who had become an orthopedic surgeon. Together they gave the lecture 'Mortality and morbidity risks in different sports. Static considerations from orthopedic and gynecological point of view' and Hartmuth Hommel himself discussed afterwards the subject 'Pregnancy and rehabilitation'.

He invited me to visit him in Rostock, where he received me very hospitably. In the meantime he had developed a well-functioning gynecology practice and we paid a visit to the former DDR institute where he examined and guided the female athletes, which was completely dilapidated. In the evening we had a drink in one of the many pubs at the harbor, where his wife told me that she had to pay in the GDR period 20 East German Pfenning for a Cola and that it now became 2 West German Mark.

In all, Hartmuth Hommel published 96 scientific works.