Last month, the Norwegian sprint canoeist Eivind Vold (26) was awarded the International Canoe Federation’s Pierre de Coubertin International Award for fair play.
During the end of the men’s K1 5,000 meters final at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championship in Portugal in 2018, there was confusion when the Spanish lodged a protest after boats came together in the final sprint to the finish. The Spaniards also suggested Vold may have passed on the wrong side of a buoy.
However, after viewing footage of the race, ICF officials dismissed the protest and the results were allowed to stand.
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Missed a race buoy
Vold crossed the finish line in third place and received the bronze medal, but later he realized he had missed a race buoy and immediately notified the International Canoe Federation and the fourth place-getter, Spain’s Javier Hernanz.
“I was absolutely sure that I was on the right side. I thought I was discouraged because I had a little accident with Spaniard Javier Hernanz. There was a lot of war and a small crash along the way, but the judges decided that nothing was wrong,” Vold said to NTB after the race.
A right decision
“I’m glad that Eivind knows what’s right in this situation. I’m proud of Eivind, proud of his track and proud that he does not want a bronze medal with ice,” sports director of the Norwegian Paddle Association, Eirik Verås Larsen, said in a press release after the competition.
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So, Norges Padleforbund (NPF) and Eivind Vold asked to return the World Championship bronze medal, which was then presented to Hernanz.
Fair Play Award to Norwegian Canoe Athlete
In September, the 2018 Fair Play Award was given to the Norwegian Canoe Athlete, Eivind Vold in Budapest. Vold was unable to attend as he is was competing in the Tokyo 2020 canoe sprint test event.
President José Perurena praised Vold and the Norwegian Canoe Federation for their sense of fair play.
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“It’s often very easy to forget what is important about playing sport and competing at all levels. Eivind Vold and his Norwegian Canoe Federation have provided us with a timely reminder of what should be at the heart of any sporting confrontation, be it at an Olympics or World Championships, or playing at the local park or on your nearby river,” Mr Perurena said.
The International Canoe Federation
The International Canoe Federation (ICF) is the world governing body for canoe and kayak sport.
Its Headquarters are located in the Maison du Sport International (MSI) in Lausanne, “Olympic Capital”, Switzerland; a mere paddle away along Lake Geneva from the proposed site at Lausanne.
Fair Play Award to Norwegian Canoe Athlete, written by Tor Kjolberg