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Chuck Lyda

Full name: Charles Clinton "Chuck" Lyda
Gender: Male
Height: 6-2 (188 cm)
Weight: 176 lbs (80 kg)
Born: July 23, 1952 in San Diego, California, United States
Died: June 12, 2010 in Folsom, California, United States
Affiliations: Ventura Olympic Canoe Club
Country: USA United States
Sport: Canoeing


Making the 1976 Olympic canoeing team was only a footnote in the life of Chuck Lyda. Lyda was a two-time World Champion, winning gold medals in 1975 and 1977 in mixed C-2 whitewater canoeing. He competed at his first World Championship in 1969, when he was only 17. He was also a world class competitor in biathlon, competing at the World Cup level, and was a member of 28 national teams in biathlon and canoeing. In 1978 he won the NBC reality show “The Fittest of Them All.”

Lyda enlisted in the US Army in January 1983, joining the 132nd Engineer Battalion as a combat engineer. He later became head coach for the Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) in biathlon, and was a coach at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics. After leaving full-time duty and serving in the National Guard, Lyda settled near Truckee Tahoe in California, and ran the Auburn Ski Club Nordic Program for many years.

In 2006 Lyda was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in January 2008 and was preparing for a second Iraqi deployment when he was diagnosed with gastric cancer, which proved terminal. His military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation (4th Award), Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/M Device, National Defense Service Medal w/Bronze Star, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, and California Drill Attendance Ribbon (5th Award).


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1976 Summer 23 Montréal Canoeing Men's Canadian Doubles, 1,000 metres United States USA 5 h1 r2/4

Men's Canadian Doubles, 1,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit Date
1976 Summer 23 Montréal Canoeing United States USA András Törő Repêchage Heat One 1976-07-29
1976 Summer 23 Montréal Canoeing United States USA András Törő Round One Heat Two 1976-07-29
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