Mourning in the world of sailing: gone is Valentin Mankin

MankinHi Valentin, you will be missed. We will miss your maxims and sympathy. It reads on the FIV website, “The immense Valentin Mankin is gone. After a long illness and after fighting like a lion to defeat it, tonight, in Viareggio, the beloved Valentine, who would have turned 76 on Aug. 19, pulled his final board, surrounded by his loved ones to whom we send, with a hug, our condolences.”

Mankin-oldSTORY OF AN ACE
Born in Ukraine, in Kiev, in 1938, he is the only sailor in the world to have won three gold medals in three different Olympic classes (Finn, Tempest, Star) in addition to an Olympic silver (Tempest); Mankin first made the Soviet national team in 1959 and achieved his first triumph at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. At the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Mankin won as a duo with Vitaly Dyrdyra on the Tempest, in 1976 in Montreal silver together with Vladyslav Akimenko. In 1980 in Moscow, at the “venerable” age of 41, with his bowman Aleksandr Muzychenko, he won the medal. He worked in the Soviet Union until 1990 (where he had been appointed “Director of all water sports”), the year he moved to the Italian Federvela: first as technical director then as national team coach. Mankin has overseen the training of most of the top blue sailors over the past 20 years and has trained so many federal instructors.

A point of reference for entire generations of Italian sailors, Valentin was a true legend, a special person, an athlete and technician like no other around.

I am really very saddened, the passing of Valentin Mankin is a very serious loss for all Italian sailing,” said FIV President Carlo Croce. “In recent years he had regained his enthusiasm by making a major contribution to organizing the activities of the Federal Olympic Preparation Center in Campione del Garda, a great opportunity to put his enormous experience and expertise to good use. He was a special athlete, coach and man. And he was really very close to all of Italian sailing: he will be sorely missed.” A funeral ceremony will be held in the coming days off the coast of Livorno, where Valentin’s ashes will be scattered.

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