Remembering Jutta Müller: The Legacy of a Legendary Figure Skating Coach

2023-11-02 16:51:00

November 2, 2023, 5:51 p.m

German figure skating has lost what is probably the greatest coach of all time. According to MDR information, Jutta Müller died in a nursing home on Thursday morning (November 2nd, 2023) at the age of 94. During her active time as a figure skating coach, the woman from Chemnitz formed numerous world champions and Olympic champions.

The great lady of ice sports wrote herself into the history books with 57 medals at the Olympic Games, World and European Championships. She formed great athletes on the ice, such as her daughter Gaby Seyfert, Jan Hoffmann, Anett Pötzsch and Katarina Witt. “With her, the figure skating world is losing one of the greatest coaching personalities,” said Andreas Wagner, President of the German Ice Skating Union.

“An institution in Chemnitz sports”

Pötzsch, the first German Olympic figure skating champion, reacted to the death of her coach with deep sadness. “You always had to expect it because of her old age. But when it comes to that, it has something final. And I have a problem with that,” said the 63-year-old German press agency.

On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Müller was made an honorary citizen of the city of Chemnitz. “With Jutta Müller, Chemnitz is not just losing an honorary citizen. She was an institution in Chemnitz sports, which she shaped like few others over many decades. Her reputation went far beyond our city,” said Sven Schulze, Mayor of Chemnitz.

First successes with daughter Gaby Seyfert

Her coaching career began in 1955 at SC Karl-Marx-Stadt. As an active runner, she became the GDR pair skating champion in 1949. But behind the scenes the really big successes would come. First with her daughter Gaby Seyfert, who became world champion twice. Anett Pötzsch and Jan Hoffmann followed in the 1970s. Pötzsch won two world championship titles and became Olympic champion at the games in Lake Placid when she was just 19 years old. “I’m grateful to have had her by my side. Without her I probably wouldn’t have made it this far,” said the Chemnitz native. Hoffmann was also at the top of the world championships twice, taking silver in Lake Placid.

Müller and Witt make themselves immortal

Müller had a very special relationship with Katarina Witt, and not just because of their great shared successes. From 1982 to 1988, the “most beautiful face of socialism” was practically unbeatable, winning four World Cup titles and gold at the Olympic Games in 1984 and 1988. Unforgettable, Carmen on the ice, who also beat her great rival Debbie Thomas from the USA at the Freestyle went. Müller won the last European Championship title with Evelyn Großmann in Leningrad in 1990. And when Witt dared to step onto the ice again at the games in Lillehammer in 1994, she was coached by Jutta Müller. There was a respectable eighth place.

Kati Witt always said “you”

Müller was always the strict trainer and yet always a close reference person. “Everyone asks us, ‘You still say you?’ Yes, I always will! For me, Mrs. Müller is always Mrs. Müller. Out of respect! And yet she is very close to me,” recalled Olympic champion Katarina Witt on the occasion of Müller’s 90th birthday: “She was the only one in my entire life , who was allowed to scream at me. And that wasn’t that rare.”

Katarina Witt with her coach Jutta Müller at the World Cup in Tokyo 1985 Photo rights: imago/AFLOSPORT

2022 – Moving to a nursing home

In the summer of 2022, Müller had to leave her beloved hometown of Chemnitz for health reasons. She took her daughter Gaby Seyfert to a nursing home in Bernau, near her. She had previously lived in an eleven-story, 100 square meter apartment in the Saxon city.

On the occasion of Jutta Müller’s death, MDR TELEVISION will broadcast the film “Jutta Müller – most successful figure skater in the world” on Thursday, November 2nd at 11:10 p.m.

This topic in the program:MDR TELEVISION | MDR current | November 2, 2023 | 5:45 p.m

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