FREDERICKSSON Gerd (1919) Sweden / Canoeing
Almost unknown to the general public, Fredericksson was one of the great Olympic champions of the century.He won six gold medals between 1948 and 1960. The problem was that the Swede won in a discipline that was unknown: the kayak. Invincible in the single-seater during close to 10 years, he built up a stock of world titles. He was 41 years old when he won his last gold medal in Rome, in the C2 event. Fredericksson's victories discouraged his competitors because they appeared easy. He said they were no more than the fruits of his labour. He finally became national coach after carrying off almost 50 national titles.