History of sports medicine - 1963


The first FIMS European Congress was organized in Prague.


A five-year Specialist in sports medicine ('Facharzt für Sportmedizin') training course was introduced in the GDR. Twenty Sports Medical Services ('Sport Medizinischen Dienst' - SMD) cabinets were established throughout the territory, employing around 1,800 people.

In the 1970s, the leading sports medical research was largely conducted at the Research Institute of Physical Culture and Sport (Forschungsinstitut für Körperkultur und Sport) in Leipzig. A medical rehabilitation center was established in Kreischa with special attention to top sport. Later a lab for doping research was also opened.

German internist Max Ferdinand Bürger (1885-1966), the founder of Gerontology, was the first medical director.

The athletes were tested for their abilities and prepared for competitions. The photos show athlete Gunhild Hoffmeister (1944-), who won the silver medal   in the 1,500m at the 1972 and 1976 Olympis.

Professor Helga Pfeifer (1920-2015) investigated the oxygen uptake capacity of swimmers in a swimming pool with a current.

Gerd-Dietmar Klause (1945-), who won the silver medal in the 50 km cross country skiing of the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, was tested on a modified treadmill.

Every athlete could be tested for his specific sport, such as the weightlifter on the left and the rower on the right.


The Australian Sports Medicine Federation was born in 1963.


After the New Zealand sports physician Arthur Porritt (1900-1994) had helped found the British Association of Sports and Medicine in 1953, he encouraged New Zealand radiologist Norrie Jefferson (1915-2013) to join the New Zealand Federation of Sports Medicine in 1963 ( NZFSM). The federation was later renamed Sports Medicine New Zealand.


The ergometer developed by German Professor of Medicine Hugo Wilhelm Knipping (1895-1984) worked with the same principle as that of American Professor Frances Gano Benedict (1870-1957). Braking was done via a metal disk that rotated through a variable magnetic field. Work could be done via foot pedals or a crank.