Ivan Patzaichin is a world legend of canoe-kayaking, multiple Olympic champion and the only Romanian that was ever awarded the “Platinum Wreath” by the International Olympic Committee (in 1990).
Born in 1949, he competed in five consecutive Olympics (1968-1984) and won 7 Olympic medals (4 gold and 3 silver). He also competed in 11 World Championships (1970– 1983), where he won 9 gold medals, 4 silver and 9 bronze.
Born in Mila 23, a fishermen’s village in a remote secluded area in the Danube Delta, he started at 16 as his father's apprentice as a fisherman. Inspired by some fellow villagers, he takes up rowing and, as he turns 18, he wins his first Olympic gold medal, in Mexico (1968).
After 20 years of athletic glory, Ivan Patzaichin continues his passion for canoeing for over 25 years as a coach. He steered to victory his athletes, winning over 150 medals, in Olympic games, European and World championships.
During 1993 – 2009 he was the coordinator of the Romanian Olympic team.
In 2010 he decides it was time to address the hard issue of disadvantaged areas where population can’t benefit from the opportunities provided by the vicinity of natural protected areas. Hence, he turns to local development projects and social entrepreneurship.
He supports the design and production of a new type of rowing boat – the „canotca”, marrying old craftsmen tradition with new technologies.
Based on this, he enrols in developing tourism products and programmes, he launches an international rowing festival in Tulcea, the gateway to the Delta, and PATZAIKIN, a new brand of eco-fashion and design.
While steadily covering healthy blending of Romanian traditions and
innovations, he makes a point in encouraging similar initiatives,
using his reputation as a catalyst.
Ivan Patzaichin paddling with his father