The sport of sailing finally has an award that will be presented annually to a leading person, organization or project, which has achieved the highest international levels in the sport.
The award is named after one of the greatest sailors ever, and arguably its most colorful, Swede Magnus "Mange" Olsson. It will be awarded for the first time this year at a ceremony in Stockholm on June 26.
The inaugural winner of the award is Torben Grael - one of the world's most accomplished sailors.
Magnus died of a stroke in April 2013. Shortly after his death Magnus’ family and some of his closest friends created a memorial fund in his name. Its aim is to promote Swedish youth sailing and boating activities by awarding grants to individuals or organizations as well as present the annual Mange Olsson Award that honors an individual or organization.
Magnus loved sailing and the Magnus Olsson Memorial Fund was established to encourage and support individuals and organizations who work to achieve or promote success at the highest level of sailing - preferably with Magnus’ inimitable spirit and enthusiasm. The ambition is for the fund to continue to grow and many of Magnus’ friends, and the businesses he came into contact with during his sailing career, have committed their support.
One or more scholarships are awarded annually to young Swedish sailors. Scholarship recipients will also have the opportunity to receive some mentoring support for a year, from the recipient of the Magnus Olsson Award. The scholarship recipients will also be presented in Stockholm on Thursday, June 26.
This year’s international winner, Torben Grael (BRA), is 53 years old and has won five Olympic medals (Gold Athens 2004, Gold Atlanta 1996, Silver Los Angeles 1984, Bronze Sydney 2000 and Bronze Seoul 1988). He won the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of Ericsson 4 and he has also won with Prada Luna Rossa the Louis Vuitton Cup (Challenger Series for the America's Cup).
Two-time Olympic Gold medalist and CNN presenter Shirley Robertson will lead the ceremony in Stockholm. She will present the Magnus Olsson Award and scholarships together with members of Magnus’ family.
The Magnus Olsson Memorial Foundation chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, will also participate in the ceremony and, together with Torben Grael and Shirley Robertson, discuss leadership and excellence in the sport of sailing.