As one of the coxswains on Germany's national rowing team, Martin Sauer piloted the men's coxed eight to victory at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Crewed by eight oarsmen, the flagship of the German Rowing Association brought back a gold medal from the home of the sport of rowing. Born in Wriezen in the eastern German state of Brandenburg in 1982, Martin Sauer attributes his success to Communist sports' infrastructure, which continued to exist after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Sauer grew up in Berlin's Marzahn district, which was behind the Berlin Wall until November 1989. During the 1990s, he was discovered and developed through a systematic program for promoting young rowing talent. But becoming coxswain on a German eight is a real achievement. Sauer trained for 12 years in various boats, until he got his big chance as cox of the German eight in 2008. Since then, the coxed German eight has won every single competition it's been in, including the world championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The 29-year-old is also a law student in Dortmund. There he lives with his girlfriend, who is also a rower. Yet the year 2012 also brought sadness for Martin Sauer, when his father died unexpectedly in July, just one month before Martin’s Olympic victory in London.