R.I.P. Max Reinelt and Phineas Sprague

12 February 2019

By Göran R Buckhorn

Maximilian Reinelt

Sad news come from Germany, where it’s reported that Olympic champion Maximilian Reinelt, age 30, has died. Reinelt, Olympic gold medallist in the German eight in 2012 and silver medallist in the eights at the 2016 games, died unexpectedly, the German Rowing Federation announces yesterday.

He was also a five-time European champion and rowed in the German eights that took two victories in the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 2010 and 2011.

Reinelt ended his active rowing career in 2016 to be able to complete his medical studies. He kept contact with the sport and accompanied the German U23 team as a team doctor at a training camp in Spain.

‘For many years, I accompanied Max on his sporting path and congratulated him for his numerous national and international successes with the Germany eight,’ said Deutsche Ruderverband (DRV) Chairman Siegfried Kaidel, according to DRV’s website.

‘Even after his retirement [from rowing], he has been very committed to rowing. His surprising and much too early death makes me extremely sad,’ said Kaidel. ‘He will be missed. I wish his fiancé and family, on behalf of the entire organisation, much strength and courage during this difficult time.’

More sad news reaches HTBS from Maine, where the Press Herald reports that Phineas Sprague died on Thursday. He was 93.

Phineas Sprague

Phineas Sprague, known to his friends as ‘Phin’, was an avid sportsman who liked to ski, hike, sail and fly airplanes, and was an accomplished oarsman and fly fisherman. He was a significant contributor to programs at his alma mater, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He graduated from Bowdoin in 1950.

Sprague re-founded the Bowdoin College Rowing Association in 1986. Yesterday, Bowdoin College President Clayton Rose paid tribute to Sprague: ‘He was […] instrumental in re-establishing rowing – the College’s first intercollegiate sport – after a hiatus of nearly 90 years,” Rose said, according to the Press Herald.

Sprague was also a founding member of the Bowdoin College Outing Club and the Nonesuch Oar and Paddle Club in Scarborough.

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