Dr. Manfred Laemmer

Dr. Manfred Laemmer

Dr. Manfred Laemmer, University Professor,
German Sport University Cologne


1962 -1965 Studied Sports Science at the German Sports University in Cologne Graduated as a ‚Diplomsportlehrer‘ (Sports Teacher)

1962-1967 Studied Greek, Latin and History at the University of Cologne

Awarded a Ph.D. in History and Classical Philology

1974 Higher doctorate

1975 Appointed as full professor and Head of the History Department of the German Sports University Cologne


Main Focus of Research

  • Gymnastics and athletics in Greco-Roman Antiquity
  • History and ideology of the modern Olympic Movement
  • Sport and Politics
  • Sport in Jewish history
  • Sport and culture

Has more than 250 publications to his name including pioneering studies on the demystification of the traditional image of the Olympic Games and the influence of Antiquity on the emergence and ideological development of the modern Olympic movement and, in particular, its contribution to standards, international understanding and peace-building. 


Additional Information

‚Germany within the Olympic Movement: An Interim Report’, reference work published by the National Olympic Committee for Germany, Frankfurt 1999  

Olympic Spirit (co-authored with Hartmut GUSTMANN), Cologne 2003

Olympic Charter 2014 (co-authored with Christoph VEDDER), Frankfurt 2014

Ground-breaking studies on the conflict between Judaism and Hellenism and the role of public games in honour of the Roman emperor Augustus within the context of the politics of Herod the Great. Has also done additional work on sport within Jewish history and culture.   .

Re-published the ‚Jüdische Turnzeitung‘ (Jewish gymnastics journal) from 1900 - 1921. Organised conferences on Jewish sport in modern times. Led numerous initiatives for the promotion of international cooperation within the field of sports science. Has given guest lectures and held guest professorships in virtually every European country, focusing on Greece, Turkey and Cyprus and also outside Europe, e.g. Canada, USA, China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Israel.


Summary of Official Posts and Functions:

1972-2004 General Secretary, President and Vice President of theInternational Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport (ISHPES). Was responsible for organising and running numerous international congresses and projects, in addition to coordinating worldwide cooperation in the field of sport history.

Founder and Chairman of the Sport History Section of the Deutsche of the Vereinigung für Sportwissenschaft (German Association for Sports Science).

1972-2005 - Member of the Executive Board of the German Olympic Societyand long-standing Vice President.

1969-2016 - Deputy Chairman of the DOG Rheinland.

1972-2006 - Assisted the NOC for Germany in preparing for all the Olympic Games and also provided scientific support.

1980-1981 – Was personal advisor to Willi Daume, president of the German NOC and member of the Organising Committee of the 11th Olympic Congress in Baden-Baden.

1972-1986 - Founder and Editor of 15 volumes of ‚Kölner Beiträge zur Sportwissenschaft‘ (Cologne Sports Science Contributions).

Since 1975, has been the Editor of STADION. International Journal of the History of Sport. 

Since 1991, has edited 10 volumes of ‚Studien zur Sportgeschichte‘ (Studies in Sport History).

1981-2006 - Member of the Advisory Commission of the President of the NOC for Germany.  

Since 1981, has been co-founder and head of the organising staff for the German Sports and Olympic Museum in Cologne.

Member of the IOC working group responsible for preparing the contents for the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

Since 1990, has been the representative for the Fair-Play Initiative in German sport under the management of the DOG and sponsored by IBM and DSGV. 

1993 - was responsible for founding the German Olympic Institute in Berlin and, until 2007, was also a member of the directorate. 

Since 1994, has been a member of the International Society of Olympic Historians (Pierre de Coubertin Award 2010).

1994-2012 - was Vice-President of the European Fair Play Movement (EFPM) andEditorof the Magazine,Play Fair!’.

2000 - Assisted in the creation of the IOC Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Hannover.

Was Co-founder and, since 2002, has been chairman of the Verein Kölner Sportgeschichte (Association of Sports History in Cologne).  

2003/2004 – Member of the Application Committee of the düsseldorf rhein-ruhr 2012 gmbhfor the 2012 Olympic Games.

Since 2007, has been a member of the board of the German Olympic Academy (DOA) in Frankfurt. 

Since 2017, has held the position of Deputy Chairman and Leader of the annual Sports Science seminars for both teachers and students at the International Olympic Academy (IOA) in Olympia. Was the course instructor for sessions for various target groups.

Since 2011, has held the position of Chairman of the Jury for the German Fair Play Award.

Since 2011, has held the position of Deputy Chairman of the ‘Verein Deutsches Sport- und Olympia-Museum’(Association of German Sports and Olympic Museum – DSOM) in Cologne.

Started the annual Afrodisias-Festival at the University of Denizli, Turkey on the theme of Sport and Culture. 

2017 – Was elected as Chairman of the Founding Committee for the Association of European National Olympic Academies in Albena/Bulgaria. The establishment act will take place from 18th - 21st September, 2018 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.



2010 Annual Award of the International Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport (ISHPES)

2012 Pierre de Coubertin Award of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH)

2012 Honorary member of the European Fair Play Movement

In 2012, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Baku Sports University in Azerbaijan