Medalists return for 50 Years of Canoe Slalom – ICF News

Former GDR canoe slalom paddlers Reinhard Eiban and Angelika Bahmann will return this week to the venue where they made Olympic history 50 years ago when they won gold at the sport’s Games debut in Augsburg.

Eiban and Bahmann will be among seven medalists from the canoe slalom competition at the 1972 Munich Olympics who will take part in 50-year anniversary celebrations as the International Canoe Federation hosts the 2022 World Championships on the same course where the sport made its Games debut.

Eiben won the first ever gold medal in the men’s C1, while Bahmann will forever be known as the first women’s Olympic kayak champion. She will be joined this week by the silver and bronze medalists from the competition, German’s Gisela Grothaus and Magdalena Held.

German Reinhold Kauder, who finished second behind Eiben in 1972, K1 men’s bronze medalist Harald Gimpel and C2 men’s silver medalist Willi Baues round out the medalists from 50 years ago who will be recognised this week.

“Munich, and the famous Augsburg Ice Channel, are such an important part of canoe slalom’s history, so to be able to welcome back and once again celebrate the performances of so many medalists from 1972 is a tremendous honour for our sport,” ICF President, Thomas Konietzko, said.

“This week we will showcase the very best modern day athletes in our wonderful sport at our world championships. Every one of them I am sure will be aware of the history of the Ice Channel, and of the achievements of our athletes from 50 years ago.

“Importantly we will show what a tremendous positive impact an Olympic venue can have on a community. The Ice Channel is an important part of the Augsburg, German and world canoe slalom and recreational community, and this week we will show why.”

It won’t just be former slalom athletes who will be part of this week’s 1972 reunion. Karl Heinz Englet, who ran with the Olympic torch and lit the Olympic fire in Augsburg, will be there, along with venue announcer Johannes Walch.

John MacLeod competed for Great Britain in the men’s K1 in Munich and went on to have a long coaching career, and the head coach of the GDR team in 1972, Werner Lempert, will be in attendance, as will Horst Woppowa, a judge from the Augsburg slalom competition.

A week of celebrations will include an official “Bavarian Evening” and group photo of all the participants from 1972 on Thursday.

The ICF Canoe and Extreme Slalom World Championships begin on Wednesday and will run through until Sunday.