Sabine Eichenberger (Switzerland) - Nominee for the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award
Born: 1968, Represents: Switzerland, Sports: Canoe Sprint, Downriver, Marathon, Dragon Boat Racing, Coaching, Boat Design, Youth Mentorship.
An inspiration to all who cross her path, Sabine Eichenberger has been Switzerland’s most accomplished paddler for over 20 years and one of the most successful downriver paddlers ever. Besides winning multiple world and European championship titles in downriver racing in both K1 and C1 classes, she has also had a successful career in sprint canoe, winning a silver medal in the women’s K4 500m at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Sabine is also a highly decorated dragon boat paddler, as well as a world champion in marathon racing.
For the duration of her paddling career, Sabine has been an inspiration to both male and female athletes around the world, who have made it their goal to beat her just once in their lives. Her dedication to paddle sports and her ability to train both hard and smart at the same time make her an inspiration to the young paddlers following in her footsteps. Sabine coached Switzerland’s downriver junior team at the 2007 world championships in the United States, where the team won three medals after a 10-year drought. A valued team member both on and off the water, Sabine dedicates much of her time to developing young athletes and working tirelessly to make the sport of kayaking accessible to school-aged children. She has also been instrumental in the development of Switzerland’s national dragon boat team, while also fundraising and advocating for paddle sports in general through crowdfunding projects, charity races and other initiatives.
To round off her comprehensive career, Sabine also has a demonstrated ability in boat design and has helped develop several new downriver kayak models, most of them manufactured by Probst in Switzerland. The most successful of her boats, the Probst Focus, is used by Sabine herself, as well as multiple-Junior and U23 World and European champion Melanie Mathys.
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