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Baier is the only male skater to win Olympic medals in both pairs and singles competitions.

The composer at the end

Thirty-year-old Berlin architect Ernst Baier and his 15-year-old protégée, Maxi Herber, were early exponents of "shadow skating" in which both skaters perform the exact same moves without touching. In an unusual reversal of normal procedure, the German government made a film of Baier and Herber's routine and commissioned a composer to create a piece to match their moves.

Pairs and singles skating champion

Ernst and Maxi gained the first place votes of seven of the nine judges and won gold medals easily at the 1936 Olympic Winter Games. The day after Ernst Baier was awarded his gold medal in the pairs event, he competed in the singles and earned a silver medal behind Karl Schäfer of Austria.

World champions and an abrupt ending

He and Herber went on to win the pairs world championship each year through 1939, after which their streak was ended by World War II and the two turned professional.



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Garmisch 1936-Figure skating-Ernst BAIER (GER) 2nd, Karl SCHÄFER (AUT) 1st, Felix KASPAR (AUT) 3rd
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Baier Herber Kilian and Schaefer relaxing between events

6-16 Feb 1936: Competitors including an Austrian athlete, Ernst Baier and Maxi Herber (in dark overcoats) of Germany, Hanns Kilian (with glasses) of Germany and Karl Schaefer of Austria relax between events at the 1936 Winter Olympic Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Baier and Herber won the gold medal in the Pairs Figure Skating event, Shaefer won the gold and Baier the silver in the Men's Figure Skating event. \ Mandatory Credit: IOC/Olympic Museum /Allsport

Garmisch Patenkirchen 1936 Figure Skating Mixed Pairs

Ernst Baier and Maxi Herber revolutionised the pairs figure skating by integrating parallel jumps. The duo also won several World and European championships and gold at the 1936 Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkrichen.
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Herber Practices Her Jumps

German skater Maxi Herber practives her jumps in preparation for her performance, with partner Ernst Baier, in the Mixed Doubles Figure Skating Competition at the Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, February 1936. Herber and Baier went on to win the gold medal in the event. (Photo by FPG/Getty Images)
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Figure Skating

February 1936: Maxie Herber and Ernst Baier winning the 1936 Olympic Pairs figure skating gold medal at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


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