Nominations for the 2015 Thomas Keller Medal

Thomi Keller in 1965. Photo: Wikipedia.

In a press release, the World Rowing Federation, FISA, writes on its website that the organisation has opened the nomination process for the 2015 Thomas Keller Medal to the general public.

The Thomas Keller Medal is the highest distinction in the sport of rowing. It is awarded to recognise an exceptional international rowing career as well as exemplary sportsmanship. The public is now invited to submit nominations until 16 February 2015.

The award was named after the late President of FISA, Thomas ‘Thomi’ Keller. Born in 1924, Keller was elected President of FISA in 1958, and as a 34-year-old, he was then the youngest-ever president of an international sports federation. Following the 1988 Olympic Games, Thomi Keller spontaneously awarded the FISA Medal of Honour to single scullers Peter-Michael Kolbe (Germany) and Pertti Karppinen (Finland) to commemorate one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the sport, thereby recognising their exceptional talent and sportsmanship. This shaped the idea of the Thomas Keller Medal which was initiated by the Keller family following Thomi Keller’s passing in 1989 and was first awarded to the great Norwegian rower Alf Hansen in 1990.

Each year the winner is carefully selected by the Thomas Keller Medal committee which includes Keller’s son Dominik, and it follows a broad international nomination process including public nominations. The aim is to ensure that the true values in which Keller so strongly believed are represented.

The nominees for the Thomas Keller Medal are assessed on the following five factors:

Success at the international level
‘Type’ of career
Technical mastery of the sport
‘Legendary’ aspect

In July 2014, Drew Ginn of Australia was awarded the Thomas Keller Medal in Lucerne. Ginn had a career that spanned 17 years beginning as part of Australia’s famed Oarsome Foursome and ending four Olympic Games later back in his country’s four. He accumulated four Olympic medals (three of them gold) and five World Championship titles along the way. Ginn’s career included two remarkable comebacks following back injuries and he was known for his fluid, efficient rowing style.

Previous winners include Eskild Ebbesen (Denmark), Vaclav Chalupa (Czech Republic), Jueri Jaanson (Estonia), James Tomkins (Australia), Kathrin Boron (Germany), Elisabeta Lipa (Romania) and Steve Redgrave (Great Britain). To view the full list of winners, please click here.

The award will be presented on Saturday, 11 July 2015, at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Nominations can be submitted here for this year’s Thomas Keller medal by midnight CET on 16 February 2015.

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