July 07, 2006

Gert Fredriksson, 1919-2006

I once had a Hungarian coach (who I have written about before) who used to teach us about kayaking in his own unique language. As part of that language there was a particular phrase that he used almost as a litany when discussing the historical stars of our sport. Whenever he mentioned the name of one of the greats — Helm, Parfenovich, Barton, Gyulai, Holmann — it was always followed by the responsorial psalm, "You know, he was many times World Champion."

A contemporary of Coach K—'s, Gert Fredriksson of Sweden, died Wednesday at the age of 86.

Gert Fredriksson from www.olympic.org

Fredriksson won six gold, a silver, and a bronze medal in flatwater kayaking over four Olympic games (1948-1960), which makes him the most decorated man in the history of Olympic canoeing. He also won seven World Championships outside of the Olympics. No other man has ever won more than his thirteen combined Olympic and World titles. He holds the unofficial records for the largest margin of victory in any Olympic canoe or kayak race, and for the largest margin of victory in any race that is still contested at the Olympics. When he won his final Olympic championship, he was nearly 41 years old.

Gert Fredriksson, 21 November 1919 - 5 July 2006.

You know, he was many times World Champion.

1 comment:

Pay per head services said...

I think that it is great that you are learning kayaking in his way. because it makes different that the way that you are used to and make things a little bit more interesting.