Andreas Krieger
Heidi’s farthest shot

  • IndieFest Merit Words Special Gold
  • Accolade Merit Gold
  • Telly Site bronze

I wanted to be the first woman in East Germany to throw a shot put 23 meters. I wanted to go much further…«

Important events in Andreas’ life


At the age of 14, Heidi is sent to a special school for young athletes (KJS). It is there that she begins her career as a professional athlete in the East German sports system. She progresses quickly and then joins the SC Dynamo Berlin sports club, which trains at the Sportforum in Berlin. Heidi is under close observation and is expected to bring home medals for the East German state.


Heidi’s coach gives her “blue pills” in addition to the vitamins she takes regularly – her first doping substances. She doesn’t know what they’re called; the pills are not in their original package. Heidi’s coach says they will help her perform well.


Heidi Krieger wins gold in women’s shot put at the European Athletics Championships in Stuttgart. She put her winning shot 21.10 meters.


The Berlin Wall falls, the Cold War comes to an end, and Heidi is still a high-performance athlete. However, two years later, at the age of 26, she ends her career because the doping substances have taken a toll on her body.


Heidi experiences a turning point in her life. A friend and co-worker explains the inner turmoil that she’s been facing. He gives it a name: transsexuality.


Heidi Krieger is now Andreas Krieger – a process that has taken three years. The decision to live as a man saves his life.


In 2000, those responsible for systematic doping in communist East Germany are put on trial. Andreas attends the trial and realizes for the first time that he had been inadvertently subjected to doping for many years.


Andreas marries a woman whom he had met at the doping trial two years earlier: “I feel like I won the jackpot. I am so blessed.”

Excerpts from the movie

East Germany’s
political system

High performance sports
in east Germany

The role of
the coach

The turning point
in Andreas’ life

Andreas’ situation

For the state, the collective was more valuable than the individual.

And party goals were often more important than personal fulfillment.

Background information

Women’s shot put: Close to 23 meters in the late 1980s

In shot put, the athlete thrusts a metal ball, known as a shot, as far as possible with a pushing motion of the arm. The sport was practiced in the antiquity using stones, which were replaced with cannon balls in the Middle Ages.
In 1860, the dimensions and weight of the shot were regulated. The first official women’s world record measured 10.15 meters and was thrown in 1924. It wasn’t until 1977 that a female shot putter surpassed the 22-meter mark.
A decade later, in 1987, Natalya Lisovskaya set the world record in Moscow with a 22.63-meter throw. Since then, no woman has ever put a shot further than that; 23 meters remains an unreached goal.

Stuttgart 1986: European Athletics Championships held in Germany for the first time

The atmosphere in Stuttgart’s Neckar Stadium during the 1986 European Athletics Championships was enthusiastic. Even the athletes that didn’t win medals were cheered by the fans.
The majority of the medals went to athletes from what was then the Soviet Union, followed closely by those from former East Germany,
though both countries earned the same number of gold medals. From 1972 to 1988, the Soviet Union and East Germany dominated the medal count at the Olympic Games.

Developing athletic talent in East Germany

In East Germany, athletes were divided into three different categories (I-III) according to skill and put through a systemically structured training regime that was closely monitored from a very young age. Young athletes in group I attended special training centers and their skills were tested each year.
If they performed well enough, they were sent to schools for young elite athletes (KJS). Those who were successful went on to the highly professional and specialized sports clubs, which were at the pinnacle of the East Germany sports pyramid. Only the very best and most talented athletes in East Germany were sent to elite sports clubs like SC Dynamo Berlin.

State Plan 14.25

In East Germany, international athletic success was an official state goal and was intended to demonstrate the superiority of socialism as a political system. It was in this context that the governing socialist party, the SED, implemented the State Plan 14.25.
This scheme paved the way for an all-encompassing system of organized doping, which included the research and development of doping substances. Starting in 1974, the State Plan 14.25 was implemented from the top down –
from the SED to the National Olympic Committee, to the sports doctors and scientific researchers, all the way down to the coaches. As a result, underage athletes were given doping substances, most often in the form of pills.

Share your thoughts

How do you evaluate athletes at major sports events?

Based on the number of world records they break

71 Persons

Based on the number of personal recrords they break

170 Persons

Based on how fair they play

220 Persons
461 Persons voted!

How level is the international playing field for professional athletes?

1 is least level 10 is most level

Poor (1 - 2)

152 Persons

Insufficient (3 - 4)

177 Persons

Sufficient (5 - 6)

50 Persons

Good (7 - 8)

24 Persons

Excellent (9 - 10)

16 Persons
419 Persons voted!

Making progress in training was not something to be celebrated.
It was expected – and deliberately planned.

Do you have any further questions?

We will gladly answer your questions.


Your questions will be answered as soon as possible by Andreas Krieger

or Dominic Mueser (NADA – Director Prevention Department).

* = Mandatory field