27th – Henri Eberhardt, French paddler was born on this day in 1913. He won an Olympic silver medal in canoeing at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, finishing second in K-1 10000m behind Gregor Hradetzky from Austria and was placed sixth in the shorter 1000m event. Twelve years later, during the 1948 London Games, he came third in K-1 1000m behind Swedish Gert Fredriksson and Johan Andersen from Denmark. He also took part in the 10000m event and came fifth. Eberhardt died aged 62 in July 1976. Mexcian Roberto Altamirano was born in 1944, he represented his country at the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games. In Munich in 1972 he was eighth in the final of the C1 1000m event but failed to progress to the final stages four years later. Born today in 1944 Hans Peter Mayr of Austria, a double Olympian whose home club was ATSV Lenzing. He was eliminated at the semi-final stage of the K2 1000m and K4 100m, at the 1976 and 1980 Games respectively. Fay Ho Kim Fai from Hong Kong was born in 1962. A rower and sprint canoer she competed between the mid 1980s to early 1990s. At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, she was eliminated in the semi-finals of both the K1 500m and the K2 500m events. Eight years later in Barcelona, Ho finished 15th in the single sculls rowing event. In March 2014 she stood for the vice president on the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong. However, she failed after gaining only 20 votes out of a total of 58. She is currently the deputy secretary-general of the Hong Kong School Sports Federation. Romanian sprint canoer Victor Partnoi was born on this day in 1970. He won two medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in the C1 1000m event with a silver in 1993 and a bronze in 1994. Partnoi also competed in two Olympics, his best finish being sixth in the C1 1000m at Atlanta in 1996. French slalom canoeist Yann le Pennec was born in 1974 and was affliciated to the Lannion Canoe and Kayak club in Lannion.He won two medals in the C2 team event at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships with a gold in 2002 and a bronze in 1999. He also has two silvers and two bronzes for the same event at the European Championships. Le Pennec finished fifth in the C2 event at the 2004 Athens Olympics. His partner in the boat throughout his C2 career was Philippe Quémerais. Chinese kayaker Xu Haifeng, born today in 1976, represented his country at the 1996 Atlanta Games, but failed to progress past the heat stages in with the KS 500m or 100m events.
28th– Jacob “Jaap” Kraaier, was born on this day in 1913 in Zaandam in the Netherlands and was affiliated to the De Geuzen Club in Zaandam. A flatwater canoeist he won K1 1000m bronze at the 1936 Olympics. He died in 2004 aged 90 in Egmond Aan Zee. Gunnar Utterberg, Swedish sprint canoer, who competed in 1000m doubles and fours at the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympics and won a gold medal in the doubles event in 1964 was born today in 1942. He also won three silver medals at the European championships in 1967 and 1969. Born in 1960 in Belarus, Yelena Nikolayevna Kurzina, who competed in the 1996 Olympics in the K1 slalom in which she finished in 25th position. Irina Vaag, Russian canoeist was born today in 1961, the winner of five medals at the World Canoeing Championships between 1985 and 1990 – one silver and four bronzes. She also competed at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics as part of the K2 and K4 kayak teams, her best finish being fourth in the K4 500m in 1988. She died at the age of 53 on 12th April 2015 in Guam. Italian Iduino Santoni was born in 1968 in Latina in Italy. He progressed as far as the semi-finals of the K4 100m in the 1992 Games Ondřej Štěpánek, Czech slalom canoeist was born today in 1979. Competing in four Summer Olympics, he won two medals in the C2 event with a silver in 2008 and a bronze in 2004. Stěpánek also won nine medals at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships with six golds (C2: 2006; C2 team: 1999, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2013) and three silvers (C2: 2003, 2013; C2 team: 2010). He is the overall World Cup champion in C2 from 2005. He also won a total of 13 medals at the European Championships (6 golds, 5 silvers and 2 bronzes). His partner in the boat throughout the whole of his career was Jaroslav Volf.
29th-Germain P.Van De Moere, born on this day in 1922 in Ghent and was affiliated to the KCC of Ghent. The Belgian sprint canoeist won gold in the K2 1000m at the 1958 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Prague with Rik Verbrugghe. He also competed at the 1956 and 1960 Olympics for Belgium in the K2 1000m and the sprint Kayak relay. His best finish being sixth in the K2 at the ’56 Games. Born today in 1940, Czech slalom canoeist who was placed 11th overall at the 1972 Olympics in the C2 Slalom. Aleksandar Kerčov was born in 1940 in Belgrade is a Yugoslav sprint canoer who competed in the early to mid-1960s. Competing in two Summer Olympics, his best finish of eighth in the K4 1000m at Tokyo in 1964. Unto Elo, born in 1944 in Helsinki. He represented Finland at the Montreal 1976 Olympics. He took part in 1975 K4 World Championships1000m with Ilkka Nummisto, Eero Hynninen and Heikki Mäkelä. He was ranked seventh in the K1 10,000m at the same meet. At club level Elo represents the Merimelos, and previously represented Canoa and Marjaniemi Melodi. Ello won 34 Finnish Championships between 1969-1988. He was also successful in age group competitions and won the 55th World Marathon World Championship in 1999. American paddler Lyn Ashton, born in 1951, raced for the Canoe Cruisers Association. Ashton was a white-water kayaker who won the 1972 US title to qualify for the Olympic team. She competed at the World Championships in 1971, 1973, and 1975, with a best individual finish of seventh in 1973. That year she helped the United States win the team World Championship. Ashton graduated from the University of Maryland in 1976 with a degree in botany. She later worked at the University of the South as a director of outward bound programmes. Massimo Moriconi was born in 1956 in Rome. The Italian sprint canoer competed in the K4 1000m at the 1976 Olympics but he and his team were knocked out at the repechage stage of the event. Another sprint canoer, Canadian Greg Smith was also born in 1956. Together with is partner John Wood they won silver in the 1977 Flatwater World Championships in the C2 500m. The pair had previously finished in seventh place at the 1976 Olympics in the same event. Karl-Axel Sundqvist, who was nicknamed Kalle was born in 1962 in Sweden. He was highly successful at the Flatwater World Championships, winning 10 medals in all including: gold in the 1985 K4 1000m with Bengt Andersson, Per-Inge Bengtsson and Lars-Erik Moberg. Among his other medals were a silver in the 1987 K4 1000m with the same team members. In K2 events he won silver in 1993 with Hans Olsson and bronze in the 10000m in 1983 with Bengt Andersson. In single events he collected a bronze in 1985 1000m. He took part in three Olympics – 1984, 1988 and 1992 – he won silver in the K2 1000m at Barcelona in 1992. Chinese canoeist Zhong Hongyan was born on this day in 1978, she has competed since 1997 and has won two medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with a silver (K4 1000m: 2002) and a bronze (K1 500m: 2006). She also competed in two Summer Olympics, her best finish of fourth in the K2 500m at Athens in 2004. Slovakian paddler Ján Šajbidor, born in 1982, slalom canoeist who competed since the late 1990s. He is the European champion in the men’s K1 event from 2007. He also has a team bronze from 2002. Competing at the 2004 Olympics in Athens in the K1 event he finished tenth in the qualification round, thus progressing to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals he finished twelfth, failing to reach the top ten and the final round.
30th-American Kenneth James “Ken” Wilson was born on this day in 1938, he paddled for the Inwood Canoe Club in New York. In high school he was a top swimmer. Wilson was US junior champion in K2 1000m in 1956. He competed at the 1956 and 1960 Olympics in K2 events, in 1956 with Edward Houston and in 1960 with John Wolters. Wilson was twice US champion in the K2 1000m, in 1957 with Robert O’Brien and in 1960 with Wolters. Another American canoeist, William Gates was born in 1947 in Beverly, Massachusetts and affiliated to the New York AC. He attended school at North-eastern University and was US Champion in C1 1000m and the C2 10K in 1968. He placed second in the 1968 North American Championships in C2 10K and raced with Malcolm Hickox in C2 at the 1968 Olympics. Gates later worked in Belgrade, Maine as a plant engineer with Philips Elmet Corporation. Carsta Genäuss-Kühn was born in Dresden, Germany in 1959. She won a gold medal in the K2 500m at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Genäuss-Kühn also won seven gold medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with three in the K2 500m – 1981, 1983,1985) and four in the K4 500m – 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985. British canoeist Alison Thorogood, who competed for the Newham and Essex Beagles in London, was born in 1960. She represented GB at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, in fact in the ’96 Games she was GB’s oldest participant at 35 years and 244 days. Her first experience of canoeing was while on a camping holiday in Wales in 1972. She the trained at the Harlow Outdoor Pursuits Centre and was soon canoeing all over the country, including regattas in Nottingham, before going on to compete in international tournaments, such as the World Championships in countries, such as Hungary and Australia, and ultimately the Olympic Squad. Elisabetta Introini was born in Milano in Italy on this day in 1961. She competed in the early 1980s. At the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, she was eliminated in the semi-finals of the K2 500m while withdrawing from the heats of the K1 500m, that won three international medals in Canoe marathon world championships. Norwegian Harald Amundsen, born in 1962 is a sprint canoer who competed in the 1980s. He won two medals in the K4 10000m event at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with a gold in 1987 and a silver in 1983. Amundsen also competed in two Summer Olympics, earning his best finish of eighth in the K2 1000m event at Seoul in 1988. His older brother, Steinar, won two Olympic medals in the K4 1000m event with a gold in 1968 and a bronze in 1972. Corrina Kennedy, born in 1970 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He was a member of the Saskatoon Racing Canoe Club, Saskatoon. At the Flatwater World Championships he had the following podium finishes: 1st 1995 K2 200m with Marie Gibeau, 1st 1995 K4 200m with Caroline Brunet, Alison Herst, and Marie Gibeau, 2nd 1997 K4 200m with Karen Furneaux, Marie Gibeau, and the non-Olympian Danica Rice, 3rd 1994 K4 200m with Caroline Brunet, Alison Herst, and Klara MacAskill. She also competed at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, finishing fifth both the K2 500mand the K4 500m events. Great Briton Ian Wynne who was born on this day in 1973, competed for the Royal Canoe Club, London. As a youngster Ian Wynne excelled as a swimmer and it was not until he was 19 that he made a decision to concentrate on canoeing. He moved between the K1, K2 and K4 classes for most of his career and only made a full time switch to the K1 class at the age of 30 in the Olympic year of 2004. Wynne made an immediate impression by medalling in both the 500 and 1000m at the 2004 European Championships and was chosen for the former event for the Athens Olympic as well as the K2 1000m with partner Paul Darby-Dowman. Although the pair were finalists in Athens it was in his solo event that Wynne captured an Olympic medal when finishing third fractionally ahead of a Norwegian rival. He hit the headlines again by setting a record for crossing the English Channel in a kayak in 2007. Wynne later accepted a position as a coach to the British canoe team specializing in the 1000m. His brother Anthony was also a canoer and competed at world championship level. Mário Ostrčil, born in Slovakia in 1978 is a sprint canoer who competed in the early 2000s. He was eliminated in the semi-finals of both the C2 500mand the C2 1000m at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. His brother Mariain is also an Olympic canoer, who won silver and bronze at the Flatwater World Championships in the C1 1000m class.
1st December – Born on this day in 1939. German sprint canoeist Renate Breuer. She competed for KC Charlottenburg and competed in two Olympics, 1968 in Mexico and 1972 in Munich. She won the K1 500m silver in 1968 and in the K2 event four years later was placed fifth. Breuer also won three medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with a gold (K2 500m in 1970) and two silvers (K4 500m in 1966, 1971). Bulgarian Bozhidar Milenkov was born in 1954 and competed in sprint canoe events in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He took part in two Olympic Games, winning a bronze in the K4 1000m class in Moscow 1980 and placing seventh in the same event at Montreal. Konstantin Negodyayev, born in 1967 in Kazakhstan and competed in sprint canoeing at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. His best results were in the C1 500m singles class in both Games where he came seventh. In the longer 1000m event he failed to reach further than the heat stages. Portuguese slalom competitor Florence Fernandes was born in 1968 and finished 22nd in the K1 event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Four years later in Sydney, Fernandes finished 20th after being eliminated in the qualifying round of the K1 event. Olympic paddler Mia Farrance, born in Melbourne, younger sister of canoeist Andrew, was born in 1973. She finished She finished 14th in the K1 event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics while Andrew, who was born a year earlier, competed for the Canoe Plus Racing Team and the Victorian Institute of Sport in Melbourne. He competed at his home Games in 2000 in the C2 slalom event, where he finished 11th overall. Italian Antonio Scaduto, who competed for the Fiamme Gialle di Sabaidia club was born in 1977. At the Flatwater World Championships in 1989 he won bronze in the K4 500m sprint. He also represented Italy at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics, his best finish being a bronze in Beijing with Andrea Facchin in the 2008 K2 1000m.
2nd –Rainer Åkerfelt, born in 1934 in Snappertuna in Finland was a sprint canoer who competed in the early 1960s. He was eliminated in the semi-finals of the K2 1000m event at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. His brother Rolf, who is some seven years younger than Rainer was also an Olympic canoeist who competed at the same Olympiad as his brother. Their cousin Harry, who was born in 1915 participated in the 1948 Games in London, where he finished sixth in the K1 1000m, Harry died in 2008 aged 93. Jiří Čtvrtečka was born in 1942 and was a Czechoslovak sprint canoer who competed from the late 1960s to the late 1970s. He won three medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with a silver (C2 50 m 1975) and two bronzes (C1 1000m:1970, C2 500m : 1974). Čtvrtečka also competed in three Summer Olympics, his best finish of fourth in the C1 1000m event at Mexico City in 1968. Harry Sørensen. Danish sprint canoer, was born in 1946 and died in March 2015. He finished ninth in the K4 1000m event at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. He competed with the Sundby Kajakklub in Denmark. Another sprint canoeist born on this day in 1955 was Czechoslovakian Felix Masár who competed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He won a bronze medal in the K1 1000m event at the 1979 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisburg. Masár also competed at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, finishing sixth in the K1 1000m and eighth in the K1 500m events. Russian Vladimir Parfenovich was born in 1958, from Belarus he was the best sprint kayaker in the world in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Parfenovich won three gold medals at the 1980 Olympics (K1 500m, K2 500m and K2 1,000m) and was nine times world champion (1979, 1981-83 in K1 500m, 1979, 1981-82 in K2 500m and 1981-82 in K2 1,000m). He also won three silvers at the World Championships (in 1978 in K1 500m, in 1983 in K2 500m and in 1983 in K2 1,000m m). Parfenovich also won 17 Soviet titles and 19 Soviet cups. He retired from sport after the Soviets had decided to boycott the 1984 Olympics. Parfenovich retired from competitions after learning that the 1984 will be boycotted by the Soviet Union. He then worked as an instructor for the Sport ministry of Belarus and served in the KGB and police forces. In 1995–2007 he headed the Canoe-Kayak Federation of Belarus and was a member of the Belarusian Olympic Committee. After that he trained canoers in Russia, and in 2013 became head coach of the Russian team. American Greg Barton was born in 1959 in Michigan and is usually considered the greatest flatwater kayaker produced by the USA. Barton competed at three Olympic Games, winning medals at each, highlighted by two golds in 1988 in K1-1000m and K2 1,000m. He won gold medals in the same events at the 1987 Pan American Games and six medals at the World Championships, including four golds (K1 1000m: 1987, K1 10000m: 1985, 1987, 1991), a silver (K1 10000m: 1990), and a bronze (1 1000 m: 1991). He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1983 with a degree in mechanical engineering and settled in Seattle where he started and ran Epic Kayaks, which makes high-end kayaks, surf-skis, and paddles. The US Canoe Association has named the Greg Barton Cup Challenge in his honour. Barton’s brother, Bruce, competed at the 1973 and 1975 World Junior Championships, and the 1974, 1978 and 1979 Senior Worlds. By the time of the 1976 Olympics he had been paddling for seven years, winning over 200 races, and would win six US titles in his career. Barton attended Michigan State University and competed for the Niles Canoe Club in Michigan. Later in life, he continued to race long-distance canoe races, notably winning the 2014 Adirondack Canoe Classic in C4, a 90-mile race, in his sixth attempt at the event. All the Barton children were introduced to canoeing quite young and all three of them wound up on a U.S. National Team. Bruce and Greg competed in the Olympic Games and Connie in the Junior World Championships. Bruce ran cross-country in school, while Connie played girls’ basketball and ran the two-miles, but canoeing was their main sport. Born in South Africa in 1975, Cameron Nicholas Douglas McIntosh, who was placed 12th overall in the C2 slalom at the 2008 Olympic Games. Maria Ferekidi, born on this day in 1981in Athens, is a slalom canoer who represented the Odysseas Galatsiou club. She has competed since the early 2000s, at her home Olympics in 2004 she was eliminated in the qualifying round of the K1, finishing in 17th place. Four years later in Beijing, Ferekidi was eliminated in the semi-finals of the same event where she was classified in 11th place overall. Portuguese canoer Helena Isabel Neves Reinold Rodrigues, born in 1984 represented the Clube Naval do Funchal and won herself a bronze at the 2009 K4 200m at the Flatwater World Championships. She was twice an Olympian, in 2008, where she failed to progress into final stages of the K2 500m and in 2012. At London she was a team member of Portgual’s K4 500m squad who were 6th in the final. Toni Ionel Ioneticu of Romanian, who represented his country at the 2012 Games as part of the K4 1000m team was born on this day in 1989.
3rd-Born on this day in Paris in 1936, Michel Meyer, he participated in two Olympics – 1956 and 1960. In Melbourne, he was placed 5th in the K2 1000m and 9th in the longer 10K event. Four years later in Rome he raced in the K1 1000m class where he failed to progress from the heat stages. Norwegian Jan Johansen, born in 1944, won gold as part of his national K4 10k team at the 1970 Flatwater World Championships, the following year he won silver in the K2 10k event. He took part in two Olympic Games; Mexico in 1968 where he won gold in the K4 1000m and in Munich in 1972 took home a bronze in the same classification. On this day in 1950 Viktor Podloucký was born in Czechoslovakia, a sprint canoer he competed in the mid-1970s. He was eliminated in the semi-finals of the K4 1000m at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Polish canoeist Daniel Zygmunt Wełna, born in 1955 in Bydgoszcz competed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He won seven medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with two golds (K4 500 m and K4 1000 m: both in 1977), two silvers (K2 500m: 1981, K4 1000m: 1979), and three bronzes (K2 1000m: 1981, K4 500m: 1978, 1979). He also competed in two Summer Olympics, earning his best finish of fourth in the K4 1000m event at Moscow in 1980. East Germany’s Bernd Duvigneau was born in Magdeburg, in 1955 and was affiliationed to SC Magdeburg.Competing in two Olympics, he won two medals in the K4 1000m with a gold in 1980 and a bronze in 1976. Duvigneau also won five gold medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, earning them in the K4 500m (1978, 1979) and the K4 1000m (1974, 1978, 1979). Pavlína Jobánková, Czechoslovakian sprint canoeist, was born on this day in 1973. At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, she was eliminated in the semi-finals of both the K2 500m and the K4 500m. Four years later in Atlanta Jobánková was eliminated in the repechages of the K1 500m and the semi-finals of the K2 500m. Her home club was SKK Drahelice. American Jeffrey “Jeff” Smoke, son of Olympians Bill Smoke and Marcia Jones Smoke and nephew of Sperry Rademaker was born in Michigan today in 1977. The sprint canoeist competed at the 2004 Athens Games where he finished seventh in the semi-final stage of the K2 1000m. His father, Bill, competed for the California Kayak Club and the Detroit Boat Club. In 1964 the California Kayak Club won the US title in K4s which qualified them for the Olympics. Smoke did not paddle with the club at that event, but replaced Gert Grigoleit on the Olympic boat. Smoke later formed Regatta Specialties in Buchanan, Michigan, which sets up courses for rowing and canoeing competitions. He helped design and build the courses for the 1984 and 1996 Olympics. Smoke married Marcia Jones, who paddled for the US at the 1964-72 Olympics, although they later divorced. Marcia Jones Smoke is easily the United States’ greatest woman kayaker. She graduated from Michigan State in 1964, by which time she had already won several national championships as Marcia Jones. She remained Marcia Jones for the 1964 Olympics where she won a bronze medal. Though she was beaten fairly decisively by the Russian gold medallist, she narrowly missed the silver medal. She competed in two more Olympics as Marcia Smoke, just missing another bronze in 1968 when she finished fourth in the K1. In 1976 she was a member of the K4 National Champions boat, which gave her 34 Senior National Championship titles, surpassing the US canoeing record of 33 held by Ernie Riedel. Amazingly she returned in 1981 to win another national title, this one in the K4 500m, giving her 35 in all. She has also won 24 North American Championships and at the 1967 Pan-American Games, she won three gold medals in the K1, K2, and K4. The only American who ever defeated Marcia Smoke in her prime was her sister, Olympian Sperry Jones Rademaker. Rademaker was a superb athlete in multiple sports. She played on the 1961 AAU champion in water polo. In 1965, while a student at Michigan State, she won the Michigan AAU title in cross-country running. And in 1968 Olympics, she competed alongside her sister, Marcia. However, Olympic canoeing was far too short a distance for Sperry Rademaker. In 1973 she won the US Canoe Association national title in the C2 marathon, and came third in 1974. Over the next five years, she had six podium finishes in various marathon canoe national championships. She and her husband, Jack Rademaker, competed in mixed events with some success. Rademaker later turned to triathlons, competing in her 40s and 50s. Bornin Karlsruhe, Germany in 1979, sprint canoer Björn Goldschmidt who has competed since the early 2000s. Competing in two Summer Olympics, he won a bronze medal in the K4 1000m event at Beijing in 2008. Goldschmidt also won two medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with a gold in the K4 200m: in 2007 and a silver in the K4 200m: two years earlier in 2005.