25 September 2019

ICF mourns the passing of Mr Marathon, Jorn Cronberg

Jorn Cronberg, a much-loved member of the International Canoe Federation family who chaired the canoe marathon committee for 35 years, has died at the age of 71 after a long illness.

The news has been met with extreme sadness by the world canoeing community. The ICF flag has been lowered to half mast at the Canoe Slalom and Wildwater Canoeing World Championships in La Seu, Spain.

ICF President Jose Perurena had a long association working with Mr Cronberg.

“I received the news this morning, it is very sad,” Mr Perurena said.

“I worked together with Jorn for the past 20 years. He was incredibly enthusiastic for marathon, and for canoeing in general. His passing is a great loss for our sport.

“We will fly our flag at half mast as a sign of respect. His last year was very difficult, but we will all miss him.

Mr Cronberg was instrumental as general-secretary of the Danish Canoe Federation in launching the campaign in 1975 to have canoe marathon recognized by the ICF as an official discipline. He worked tirelessly for the best part of a decade to achieve his dream, finally getting canoe marathon recognized in 1984.

He was appointed the inaugural chair of the ICF’s canoe marathon committee in the same year, a position he held up until his passing. Under his leadership canoe marathon became more popular around the world.

He oversaw major changes to the production and presentation of the sport, taking canoe marathon from one of the smallest members of the International Canoe Federation family to one of the most popular and most exciting.

He played a major role in having canoe marathon added to the program of the 2021 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, and was instrumental in taking the sport to new corners of the globe.

This year’s world championships will be held in China, making canoe marathon one of the ICF’s first disciplines to hold its showcase event in the country. In recent years, marathon’s premiere race has also been held in South Africa, USA, Singapore and Australia.

Mr Cronberg first became an ICF technical official for canoe sprint in 1977, and in canoe marathon in 1985. He remained in those positions up until his death.

The ICF extends its condolences to Mr Cronberg’s family and friends.

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