Magnus Olsson 1949 - 2013
Sedan mitten av 1960-talet levde Mange med sin passion för havskappsegling. Från tonårens SM-regattor i 505 via America’s Cup till dagens Volvo Ocean Race var han en central gestalt inom både svensk och internationell segling.
Det var en annan seglingslegendar, Pelle Petterson, som fick Mange att börja segla på heltid. I mitten av 1970-talet hade Magnus gått ut KTH och tänkte sig en ingenjörskarriär när Pelle ringde och övertalade honom att bli med i besättningen på båten Sverige i America’s Cup. Det var 1976, Mange var 27 år och tvekade aldrig att hoppa på seglingen.
Mange föddes den 4 januari 1949 och växte upp i Bromma utanför Stockholm. Som åttaåring lärde han sig segla på Mälaren. Fyra år senare skaffade familjen sommarhus i Haverdal på västkusten. Mange gick då med i den lokala segelklubben och började kappsegla i OK-jolle, Trapez och sedan 505. Det blev tre SM-titlar i 505 runt 1970.
Mange Olsson har deltagit i sex Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race. Först gången var 1984-1985 ombord på Drum. Han var med och vann tävlingen 1997-1998 ombord på EF Language med Paul Cayard som skeppare. Den segern rankade Mange själv som sin största sportsliga framgång.
Sista gången Mange seglade Volvo Ocean Race var 2008-2009. Då var han skeppare ombord på Ericsson 3 som slutade fyra. Under det racet kom en annan av Manges stora framgångar i seglingskarriären då Ericsson 3 vann den längsta etappen i Volvo Ocean Race´s historia, mellan Qingdao i norra Kina till Rio de Janeiro, en sträcka på 12 300 nautiska mil som de seglade på drygt 40 dygn.
Den sista tiden var Mange engagerad som coach, tränare och mentor för den kvinnliga besättningen i Team SCA som förberedde sig för att delta i Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015.
Carl-Henric Svanbergs tal från minnesceremonin
Dear friends. I will say a few words in English as some of you come from other countries.
As a man of the big seas and as a sailor, Mange was one of the world’s best ever. Not because he was the most natural skipper as he did not like to make decisions.
Maybe not even because he was the best navigator or the most technically skilled sailor but because of his rare and unique talent to inspire and make everyone in the crew come together and become the best they could ever be.
Mange could turn defeats into new energy, he could turn exhaustion into strength. He could turn despair into new hope.
But however great he was a sailor, he was so much greater as a human being. Everyone who passed through the same waters shared his laughter, shared his joy.
His endless spirit was a gift to the people around him. He left no one untouched and he made everyone’s life a little better.
No father was more proud of his sons, Niklas and Jocke, or loved them more than Mange did. The love of his life was you, Vica. He lived with you his later years, happily and, as we all know so well, endlessly in love.
With you, he could do what he loved the most. But, he could never slow down, nor could he be a little careful. Mange was born larger than life and could only, only be himself. He filled his years with life, not his life with years.
Vica, you gave him the life that he always longed for. You became the harbour where he found complete happiness and peace.
He once said on a sail around Cape Horn: ”When I die I want to become a sea bird, an albatross”. He wanted to continue to glide across the Oceans; he wanted to fly with you.
He now is that albatross, flying, strong and beautiful. Still, an endless source of joy to all of us whose life he touched. As soon as you think about Mange you smile and feel a little happier.
He was a major force for good and leaves behind a big empty space. We must fill this space with happy memories. There are so many and we can share some here today. But he would also want us to continue to live our lives to the fullest and carry the spirit that was his special trademark.
In his memory we will start a foundation to award scholarships to young sailors.
The companies that have been inspired and energized through Mange’s projects and involvement, SCA, Ericsson, Volvo, Assa, Intrum, Sandvik and many others as well a large number of private people have generously laid the foundation.
We soon reached two million Swedish crowns and the ambition is to promote young sailors that like Mange have a love for the ocean and for life.
These scholarships will be awarded yearly by Vica, Niklas and Jocke.
Let us now open our hearts and wish that Mange can feel our deep love. He will continue to live in our hearts forever and ever.