Celebrate the Induction of Wolf-Rüdiger Schulz Into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

Wolf-Rüdiger Schulz started swimming early on, but soon concentrated his talents on water polo, where he developed his skills fast, however, he did keep swimming as well. He was named the team-captain of the Spandau 04 junior water polo team and led the team to win the 1957 North-German Championship. He was also training with the adult team at that time. In 1959, Schulz met the then national water polo coach Miklós Sárkány. He saw Schulz’s talent right away and predicted a bright future for him. In 1960, Schulz played in his first game for the German National Team against Sweden and became the first water polo player from Berlin to play internationally after World War II.

Schulz won national water polo titles in 1963 and 1965, winning multiple national championships in swimming at the same time.

His international success in water polo however had to wait, as the 1962 European Championships in Leipzig were boycotted because of the construction of the Berlin wall. His team also missed a ticket to the 1964 Olympic Games after losing against the East German Team.

In 1968, Schulz qualified to play on the Olympic team again and this time it was a different story. Even though the team placed a disappointing ninth, he was voted onto the Olympic-Dream team, which made him one of the top 14 players of the Olympic tournament.

He retired from Olympic competition afterward but continues to stay involved with the sport even today. In 2000, Schulz found his way to Masters water Polo and at the age of 60 and won his first Masters World Championships alongside other former national players. Schulz has participated in numerous German, European and World Championships in the Masters category. He was German champion in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He was a European champion in 2007, 2009 and 2011 and a Masters World champion in 2000, 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Wolf-Rüdiger Schulz has competed for a number of different teams while competing as a Master.
In 1998-2000, he played for Wasserfreunde Spandau 04 in the age-group 35+ (Wasserfreunde Spandau 04 is for the last 37 years, 34 times German Champion)

In the years, 2001-2005, he competed for Düsseldorf and from 2006 to present, Schulz has been a member of SV Cannsatt. He also helped recruit water polo legend, coach Alfred Balens, who many believe guarantee future success for his team.

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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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