Thanks to the phenomenal Nils van der Poel, the five-and-a-ten-kilometer Olympic champion from Beijing, Swedish speed skating has had wonderful times this year. But now he also has to deal with the loss of the unique personality of the sport.
Nilsson gained a huge reputation in his homeland after the triumph at the World Cup in 1963. At that time, he clearly won the vote for Sweden’s most popular figure. Behind him finished (in second place) King Gustav VI. Adolf.
A year later, a native of Gothenburg won gold at the Olympics in Innsbruck on a ten-kilometer track.
In addition to valuable medals, he also held several world records.
In recent years, according to Swedish media, he has fought prostate cancer.
“Life is slowly leaving me, it’s getting worse and worse with me. I have always been a physically very strong person with a great soul, thanks to which I became the best in the world. But now it is no longer the case, “Nilsson said in a big interview for the Expressen newspaper last year.
On the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, he definitely lost his fight against the disease. “He fell asleep at night, in peace and quiet,” his wife said.