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Author: Filip Walenta

Karel Van Wijnendaele (Part 3) – 1946-1961

After the repression Karel Van Wijnendaele was restored on 14 November 1948 and decorated with the medal of honor for 25 years of loyal service to the Belgian cycling union KBWB, and on 6 April 1952 he was decorated with the Knights Cross of the Order of (King) Leopold by the Minister of Health Alfred De Taeye. A year later he was celebrated as honorary citizen of his hometown, Torhout. INTERNATIONAL NOTORIETY Karel Van Wijnendaele was very highly regarded in the international cycling world. For example in the Netherlands he was highly respected for his conciliation with the organizer...

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Karl Van Wijnendaele (Part 2) 1914-1945: The Great War (1914-1918)

During the invasion of the German troops the first days of the Great War the name of Sportwereld was changed into De Telegraaf-Sportwereld. A remarkable fact here is that the sports journalists started to operate as war correspondents. (more info : http://www.playingpasts.co.uk/articles/general/from-sports-journalist-to-war-correspondent-sports-press-during-the-german-invasion-in-1914/ ) The Telegraaf-Sportwereld of Saturday 8 August 1914 During the four years of German occupation in Belgium no Tours of Flanders were organized. All sport manifestations on the public roads were forbidden and the local population was prohibited to cross the municipal boundaries without any written authorization. The last existing remnants of the velodrome of Evergem in...

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Sportwereld, the Tour of Flanders and Karel Van Wijnendaele (Part 1) 1882-1914

In the beginning The Wijnendale Castle, where the Counts of Flanders used to live in the middle ages. Carolus Ludovicus Steyaert was born 16 November 1882 in Torhout near Bruges, fifth in a family of fifteen children. His father Petrus Steyaert who owned a pub, De Hertog van Wellington (The Duke of Wellington), died in the summer of 1884 at the age of 38. A year later his mother, Ludovica Defever, remarried farmer Richard Defreyne and moved with her family to a house near to the castle of Wijnendale. Compulsory school attendance did not excist at that time, children...

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From sports journalist to war correspondent. Sports press during the German invasion in 1914.

Many aspects of the First World War have already been studied, especially the trench warfare and the heroic battles, like those of Ypres, Passendale and many others. And since its centenary in 2014 the Great War has been put in the spotlight more than ever before. But there is still a lot to discover about what happened behind the enemy lines, although thanks to the increasing interest a lot of information has already been revealed. In this article we enlighten the role that Sportwereld (Sports World), the leading Flemish sports newspaper at that time, played during the first months...

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Ghent Six Day Race – much older than was thought

It’s autumn, days are shortening very fast and the weather is becoming worse day by day. At this time of the year pro-cyclists are not only looking for mud and sand in the cycling-cross races that follow each other at a rapid pace, but also the dry and warmth of the tracks, where they train and compete against each other in the six day races and other events. Traditionally in Belgium cycling fans are nervously waiting for the track event of the year, the Ghent Six Days. The desolate velodrome ’t Kuipke is transformed into a cycling arena, which...

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