Heinz Florian Oertel, the legendary voice of GDR sports television and radio, died March 27 at the age of 95. This was confirmed by his family to Deutsche Presse-Agentur on Wednesday. Oertel was known for his rousing reports, talk shows and entertainment programs that thrilled millions but also polarized them.
Oertel was always where the big sports were and the GDR stars could hope for success. He experienced a total of 17 Olympic Games and eight soccer World Cups, including the 1974 World Cup, in which the GDR qualified first and once. The journalist, born on December 11, 1927 in Cottbus, commented on the legendary 1-0 victory over the later world champion FRG in Hamburg.
Unforgotten remains his reportage from August 1, 1980 at the Olympic Games in Moscow, when he described the second Olympic victory of marathon runner Waldemar Cierpinski in a euphoric manner: "Dear spectators at home, this is a unique triumph. Dear young fathers or prospective, have courage, quietly call your newcomers of today Waldemar. Waldemar is here!"
With his incredible technical and general knowledge, Oertel enriched his reports in various sports such as soccer, athletics, cycling, boxing and figure skating. He always found the right words to infect his listeners with his own enthusiasm. The fact that he became a GDR television favorite 17 times, more often than any other GDR celebrity, underscores this fact.
Oertel's trademarks were his voice, his style and his language. He kept his distance, but was always close when things got exciting in the stadium. In an emotional moment, he called the four-time Olympic cross-country skiing champion from Finland, Lasse Virén, "Tartan Moose."
In recent years, Oertel had retired for health reasons. In addition to his work as a sports journalist, he was also active as an author and university lecturer and dealt critically with social issues in his books - even in GDR times.Report Bild
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