Elvstrøm built a training bench in his garage that replicated the toe- straps for him to practise. " Within the Finn dinghy boat class, I attached importance to the physical condition, but since then the athletes have become even stronger," he modestly suggests. Elvstrøm was way ahead of his time - the self- bailer and lifejacket that he invented are also still in use on elite boats - but originally he belonged to an Olympic Movement that was steeped in amateur ideals. " I think back to the time when all athletes were amateurs, when results and financial capabilities were not correlated," he says. " Having said that, I recognise that we must put the past aside. The first job of the Olympic Movement today and in the future is to promote sport at all levels and within all areas, using the enormous media attention to enhance the excitement generated by sport throughout the world." And ahead of the Congress in Copenhagen, he has his own suggestion as to how the IOC can ensure the Olympic Games remain the world's premier sporting event, with the athletes' achievements at the forefront. " The most important challenge, I think, is to reduce the number of participants. The Olympic Games have become too big. " Let as many sports as possible be represented by less athletes than today per sport and in a way that, first of all, enhances individuals and individual performances." ¦ OLYMPIC REVIEW57 OLYMPIC CONGRESS " THE FIRST JOB OF THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE IS TO PROMOTE SPORT AT ALL LEVELS AND WITHIN ALL AREAS, USING THE ENORMOUS MEDIA ATTENTION TO ENHANCE THE EXCITEMENT GENERATED BY SPORT THROUGHOUT THE WORLD"
58OLYMPIC REVIEW OLYMPIC CONGRESS What sports do you enjoy playing and/ or watching? I love paddling a kayak. I have been competing in kayak, ever since I was 13- years old, and it's been the love of my life since then. I enjoy watching cross- country skiing during winter and beach volleyball in the summer. What role do you think the Olympic Movement plays in society? If it wasn't for the Olympic Movement, the Olympic Games would be just another big sporting event, like Super Bowl. The Movement keeps the spirit and the soul of the Olympic Games alive and kicking. If you had one proposal or suggestion for the Olympic Movement, what would it be? I feel they should not let any more of the " bigger" sports, ie: rugby and golf into the Olympic Games but try to see beyond that. If I should point to one sport, I would point to marathon kayaking, which is a discipline that has got it all: action, tactics, sprints, endurance and fair play. What is your favourite Olympic memory? When René Poulsen and Kim Wraae Knudsen won silver at last year's Olympic Games in the men's 1000m kayak. They came out of nowhere, like a bat out of hell - to take silver. It still gives me goosebumps, just thinking of it. Who is your Olympic hero/ heroine? Kayaker Birgit Fischer of Germany. She competed at the Moscow Games in 1980, winning a gold medal at the age of 18. She holds the record for competing at the most numbers of Olympic Games - and taking medals. She came back, after being away from the kayak and raising her two children by herself - that's the Olympic spirit! CHRISTIAN GRAU COPENHAGEN, FORMER NATIONAL TEAM, FLAT WATER KAYAK What sports do you enjoy playing and/ or watching? I love playing crossfit, which I practise daily on a semi- professional level. My favourite Olympic sport to watch is athletics. The atmosphere at the stadium is incredible. What role do you think the Olympic Movement plays in society? I believe that sports in general and the Olympic Movement have a cross- cultural gathering role. If you had one proposal or suggestion for the Olympic Movement, what would it be? Transparency and keep accepting new sports ( i. e. crossfit)! What is your favourite Olympic memory? Attending the opening ceremony in Beijing 2008. Who are your Olympic heroes? Usain Bolt and the Danish male handball team. What sports do you enjoy playing and/ or watching? I mainly compete in endurance sports such as running, triathlon and cross- country skiing, but I like to watch athletics and cycling. What role do you think the Olympic Movement plays in society? The biggest role is to inspire young people to follow their dreams, pursue their goals and to live a healthy and active life. If you had one proposal or suggestion for the Olympic Movement, what would it be? To make the athletes the prime consideration when selecting future Olympic Games venues. What is your favourite Olympic memory? When Croatia's 49er sailing Olympic representatives Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac and their coach Ivan Bulaja showed great sportsmanship by letting Jonas Warrer and Martin Kirketerp Ibsen of Denmark use their boat to claim the gold medal in the 49er class in Qingdao, China in 2008. Who is your Olympic hero/ heroine? The triathlete Hamish Carter of New Zealand, who failed in Sydney big time ( after being ranked No. 1 in the world) but made a sensational came back and won gold in Athens. MOSES LØVSTAD COPENHAGEN, STUDENT OLYMPIC REVIEW TOOK TO THE STREETS OF COPENHAGEN AHEAD OF THE CONGRESS TO QUIZ THE LOCALS AND FIND OUT WHAT THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT MEANT TO THEM SARAH LINDASDATTER TROELSEN COPENHAGEN, LAWYER THEME 1