Thank You, Christian Olsson!

Who can ever forget the golden haul of the Swedish Big Three at the Athens Olympics? Stefan Holm, Carolina Klüft and Christian Olsson were role models, and were well-loved by the fans. I found it astounding how a country of nine million could win three athletics gold medals in a single Olympic Games. Since then, Holm had retired and Kluft had shifted to another event.

Photo from Wikipedia

Olsson, however, has been bedevilled by injury ever since the Athens Olympics. From a 17.79m outdoor personal best in 2004, en route to his Olympic gold, Olsson’s performance suffered. Although he won European Championship gold in front of his home crowd in Goteborg, he could not seem to regain his top form.

The Swede, being the true champion that he is, fought his way to a hard earned 4th place finish at the 2010 World Indoor Championships (17.23m). A year later, Olsson placed 5th at the European Indoor Championships in Paris (17.20m). The Athens Olympic Champion returned to the World Championships in Daegu, eight years after winning his first world title in Paris. Olsson posted a best mark of 17.23m, good enough for sixth place over-all.

Read: “Finally bowing to persistent injury, Olsson announces retirement”

Despite the rise of the new generation of triple jumpers, I’ve always rooted for Olsson. I never stopped hoping for a miracle performance for the Great Swede. I cheered for the guy as he went against the new titans of the triple jump. He has suffered enough. Olsson deserves a heartwarming comeback story.

Read: “Former Swedish Olympic champion Olsson retires”

But fairy tale endings, more often than not, are hard to come by. After suffering yet another injury in a training camp in the U.S. , Olsson decided to hang up his spikes.

Even if I never competed as triple jumper – even if I live thousands of miles away from Sweden – Olsson will always be an inspiration. His intensity and tenacity were infectious. To Christian Olsson, thank you!

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