former German Track Cyclist, Olympic Champion, World Champion

Miriam Welte is one of Germany’s most successful professional track cyclists. She is an Olympic gold medallist, a six-time world champion, a four-time European champion, and a 21-time German champion.

Trained by her stepfather Frank Ziegler, Miriam Welte was the runner-up in the German junior championships in the 500-metre time trial in 2002. Between 2006 and 2008, she won the German elite-level championship in this discipline every year. Coupled with this were two European championship titles: The time trial in Athens in 2006, and the keirin in Pruszków in 2008. In 2008 and 2009, she achieved multiple podiums in World Cup races, both in time trials and team sprint.

Book Miriam Welte as a speaker – Presentation topic

  • My road to success – Doing things differently

In 2008, the 1.71-metre-tall Welte, who weighed 65 kilograms at the time, won bronze in the team sprint with Dana Glöß at the Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester. In 2011, she came third in the 500-metre time trial at the Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn. That same year, she became a three-time German champion in Berlin – in the keirin, the team sprint (with Verena Jooß) and in the 500-metre time trial with a new German record time of 34.336 seconds. She was also runner-up in the sprint.

At the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, Miriam Welte took out the gold medal in the team sprint with Kristina Vogel, with both cyclists setting a world record in qualifying and the final. Welte came runner-up in the 500-metre time trial behind Anna Meares, with a national record time of 33.626 seconds, breaking her own record of 34.172 seconds, which she had set during the 2011/2012 Track Cycling World Cup in Astana. In doing so, Miriam Welte set three new German records for 500 metres from a standing start – all within the space of less than twelve months. On 22 June 2012, she also set a new record of 10.64 seconds for 200 metres from a flying start at the U.S. Grand Prix of Sprinting in Colorado Springs.

Miriam Welte won gold in the team sprint with Kristina Vogel at the 2012 London Olympics

After the judges demoted the Chinese winners to second place due to a changeover error. The German team had indeed only made it into the gold-medal event because the British duo had been relegated for the same type of error in the previous race. The German pair’s win saw them become the first female gold-medallists in this discipline, which had only been introduced as an Olympic event in 2012.

The following year in Minsk, Welte and Vogel took out the world championship in the team sprint and came runners-up in the time trial. And in December 2013, the pair set a new world record for the 500-metre team sprint with a time of 32.153 seconds. Welte became a double world champion at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali – in the team sprint with Vogel and in the 500-metre time trial. Between April and May 2014, Miriam Welte was the first German female sprinter to be invited to the International Keirin Series, where she competed in the girls’ keirin with Spaniard Helena Casas. During the 2015 European Track Cycling Championships, Miriam Welte was handicapped, having scalded her foot in hot water before the event. Despite severe pain, she and Vogel took out the silver medal in the team sprint, though she then had to cancel her participation in the time trial.

‘Do what you can with what you have wherever you are.’

In 2016, Welte was named in the team for the Rio Olympics, where she and Kristina Vogel took out the bronze medal in the team sprint. She finished eleventh in the sprint and 25th in the keirin. In December that year, she injured an elbow during the Track Cycling Challenge at the Velodrome Suisse. Welte then won two events at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships – bagging her second gold in the 500-meter time trial, and taking out the title in the team sprint with Pauline Grabosch and Kristina Vogel.

In June 2019, Miriam Welte stated in an interview with SWR that she would be finishing her career at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But in September 2019, she made the shock announcement that she would be retiring from professional cycling with immediate effect to pursue her career in the police, where she currently holds the rank of chief inspector.