Kingston & District Sports Hall of Fame

Karin Helmstaedt

Birth: December 29, 1966
Home Town: Fredericton, N.B.
Inducted as: Athlete
Inducted for: Swimming,
Inducted in: 2007


Karin began swimming competitively with the Kingston Blue Marlins in 1978, and became one of Canada’s premier swimmers, specializing in the individual medley. She first toured with a national team in 1985 and finished that summer as a finalist at the World Student Games in Kobe, Japan. The next year, Karin was a finalist at both the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and the World Championships in Madrid, Spain.

Winner of multiple gold and silver medals at national university championships 1986-1989, Karin was named Canadian intercollegiate female swimmer of the year in 1987. Later that year she won bronze medals in both the 200 and 400-metre individual medleys at the Pan Am Games in Indianapolis, and she was named Kingston’s amateur athlete of the year by the Kiwanis Club.

Karin moved to France where she won gold at the French national championships in 1989 and swam for the French national club champions from 1991-1994.

Karin later became a journalist, covering numerous international events, including the 1996 Olympics. She co-wrote the award-winning documentary Staatsgeheimnis: Kinderdoping for German television in 1997.

In 2000 Karin was honoured by the American Swimming Coaches Association for her extensive writing on doping in sport.