Ivan Patzaichin (Romanian pronunciation: [iˈvan paˈt͡sajkin]; born 26 November 1949) is a Romanian canoe racing coach and retired sprint canoeist. He took part in all major competitions between 1968 and 1984, including five consecutive Olympics, and won seven Olympic and 22 world championship medals, including four Olympic gold medals. This makes him the most decorated Romanian canoeist of all times. He later worked as a canoeing coach, attending five more Olympics in this capacity. In 1990 he was awarded the Olympic Order, and in 2006 a nationwide poll included him on the list 100 Greatest Romanians of all time.
Patzaichin was born in a Russian Lipovan family in the village Mila 23. His father Vicol was a fisherman and his mother Alexandra was a dressmaker. He took up canoeing in early age inspired by his grandfather, and decided to pursue a canoeing career after watching a TV broadcast of two canoers from his village, Vicol Calabiciov and Serghei Covaliov, winning the 1966 world title in doubles. In 1967, aged 18, he moved to the capital Bucharest, where he joined the club Dinamo. Already in 1968 he was included to the national team and won an Olympic gold medal, rowing with Covaliov. At the 1972 Olympics, Patzaichin broke his oar and placed last in the singles heats. Yet he managed to finish the race, paddling with a piece of wood that he removed from the floor of his canoe, and was included to the repechage. He won the repechage and the final race. In the doubles he again teamed with Covaliov and placed second, just 0.03 seconds behind the winners.
Patzaichin spent his entire career with Dinamo, first as a trainee and competitor, rowing 4000–5000 km per year in his prime, and then as a coach. His most famous trainees are Olympic champions Florin Popescu and Mitica Pricop. A statue of Patzaichin is installed outside of the Dinamo main office. Besides canoeing he also founded the association Ivan Patzachin – Mila 23 and launched the national project Rowmania aiming to promote heritage tourism and other outdoor activities. Patzaichin has his own line of clothing made of natural products.
Also was involved in a animation project, dubbing in Romanian language Scroop character in the Disney movie- “Treaaure planet”.
Awards and honors
- Silver Olympic Order (1990)
- Order of Faithful Service (2000)
- Order of Sports Merit (Romanian: Meritul Sportiv, 2008)
- Military rank Brigadier General (1 December 2004)
- Nihil Sine Deo (2010)
- Ivan Patzaichin Archived 2009-10-02 at the Wayback Machine. Sports-reference.com
- Europa Publications (2003). The International Who's Who 2004. Psychology Press. p. 1294. ISBN 978-1-85743-217-6.
- Ivan Potzaichin. Romanian Olympic Committee
- Ivan Patzaichin, viața în cuvinte. oamenidepoveste.ro (23 July 2015)
- Simona Josan (25 August 2015) Cum arată soția lui Ivan Patzaichin, femeia care i-a schimbat viața: ”Am văzut o pereche de picioare înfipte bine în tocuri”. unica.ro
- Canoeing at the 1972 München Summer Games: Men's Canadian Singles, 1,000 metres Round One Archived 2016-03-09 at the Wayback Machine. sports-reference.com
- Sergei Glebov (21 December 2014) Адмирал золотой флотилии. Как русский стал лучшим спортсменом Румынии XX века. eurosport.ru
- Canoeing at the 1972 München Summer Games: Men's Canadian Doubles, 1,000 metres Final Round. sports-reference.com
- Uite cum arata fata lui Ivan Patzaichin! Ivona isi insoteste celebrul tata la diverse evenimente. wowbiz.ro (6 December 2014)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ivan Patzaichin.|
- ICF medalists for Olympic and World Championships – Part 1: flatwater (now sprint): 1936–2007 at WebCite (archived 2009-01-21). Additional archives: Wayback Machine.
- ICF medalists for Olympic and World Championships – Part 2: rest of flatwater (now sprint) and remaining canoeing disciplines: 1936–2007 at WebCite (archived 2009-11-09)