A former decathlete, Langen switched to bobsleigh and started competing as a brakeman in bobsleigh races in 1985. At the 1988 Calgary Winter Games, Langen came seventh in the two-man and 11th in the four-man event.
Having switched to driver, Langen’s first taste of Olympic success came at the 1992 Albertville Winter Games where he won a bronze medal in the two-man competition. Four years later in Nagano, Langen added another two Olympic medals to his tally by winning the four-man competition and finishing third in the two-man event.
By 2002, Langen had achieved virtually everything in his sport. With 25 Olympic, World, and European championship medals to his name, the only major victory he had not attained was the Olympic two-man gold. Yet despite his brakeman withdrawing two weeks before the Salt Lake City Winter Games, Langen and his replacement brakeman, Markus Zimmermann, came from behind to win by nine hundredths of a second.
Langen actually built his own sleds for competition. He was clearly very good, as it was acknowledged that his sleds were the fastest in the world!