After 25 years in the service of Danish swimming and European Aquatics, the legendary President of the Danish Swimming Federation Kjeld Egebo Larsen called it a day.
The local federation staged a great farewell party for Mr Larsen whose tenure saw two great editions of the short-course Europeans held in Denmark and also a great rise of Danish swimming.
LEN President Paolo Barelli sent the following letter to Mr Larsen which was read out during the party, as well as LEN’s commemorative plaque was handed over by Bureau Member Pia Holmen. According to the reports, the President was touched by the nice words and present received.
And here are the words of President Barelli sent to Mr Larsen.
Dear Mr President, Dear Kjeld, Dear Friend,
I am sure that as usual in your beautiful country, this occasion, a kind of Farewell Party organised to honour you, will be as happy as any we, the LEN Family attended last December. There will be a lot of fun, maybe just few teardrops when you say a final good-bye to the Danish swimming community, still, the general atmosphere is going to be lively and easy-going, despite it’s a somewhat sad occasion as well.
I say sad, as we can no longer rely on the outstanding services of a great leader, a great person. European Aquatics would need more people like you at the top tables around the continent – instead we’ll have one less. Dedicated, committed, professional, humble, smart – and I can go on listing the positive remarks but those being present are really aware of your values. We will miss those really badly.
Under your tenure, Denmark hosted two magnificent editions of the European Short-Course Swimming Championships in 2013 and 2017 which set the bar incredibly high in front of the future organisers. The annual open water swimming European Cup leg held in the canals of Copenhagen is one of the favourite events of the athletes – just to highlight your federation’s best efforts contributed to European Aquatics in recent years.
Together with our wonderful Bureau Member Pia Holmen, you and your outstanding staff set an example for other federations how aquatic sports should be managed, events to be run, visitors to be treated. Especially swimming has reached unprecedented heights in Denmark in recent years, a handful of medals from the World Championships and Olympic Games are all mirroring the professional approach and work of your federation, and the ever-growing number of young children engaged by swimming is perhaps an even better feedback.
Great leaders always left a legacy – and you’ve achieved that. We can only hope that even your role as a decision-maker has finished, your federation and LEN can seek your advice whenever needed and we wish to enjoy your company at our events in the future too.
Please, forgive me for not being present but my previously set engagements haven’t allowed travelling to Denmark for this prestigious occasion, however, Pia Holmen is with you, representing LEN and handing over our commemorative plaque to highlight our appreciation.
Dear Kjeld, on behalf of the LEN Family, let me wish the very best for you and your family in the coming years, and we cannot be thankful enough for the contribution you offered for European Aquatics.
Wishing you all the best,