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Mike Herbert

Full name: Michael Adam "Mike" Herbert
Gender: Male
Height: 5-10 (178 cm)
Weight: 183 lbs (83 kg)
Born: September 30, 1960 in Belleville, Illinois, United States
Country: USA United States
Sport: Canoeing

Biography

Mike Herbert was a legend in the flatwater canoe community in the United States, and was often called the “Daniel Boone” of kayaking. Herbert came from the Ozarks in Arkansas, not exactly a hotbed of US canoeing, but his legendary work ethic and strength took him to the top levels of US kayaking. He paddled for the US at the 1988, 1992, and 1996 Olympics. Herbert won three medals at the World Championships, with two silvers in 1990, and a bronze in 1989. He also won six medals, including three golds, at the Pan American Games, competing in 1987, 1991, and 1995. During his racing career he won 27 US Championships. Known for his bodybuilder physique, Herbert continued to compete in canoe marathons after his prime racing career ended. Even into his late 50s he worked out almost every day, and was once described as “muscles bulging off of other muscles.”

Herbert is perhaps best remembered for the time he wrestled a bear. In 1985, at a Tulsa, Oklahoma nightclub, Herbert took up an offer to wrestle Victor the Bear, a 700-pounder who was promoted by Tuffy Truesdell. The promotion offered a Camaro Z-28 to anyone who could defeat the bear, which was declawed and wrestled with a muzzle. Herbert heard about the promotion and drove from his home in Arkansas to Tulsa for the match. Two others went before Herbert and failed to flip the bear, but Herbert pinned Victor in only a few seconds. The Camaro never materialized, as Truesdell demanded a re-match, which did not occur, but the match is not forgotten in the US kayaking world.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1988 Summer 27 Seoul Canoeing Men's Kayak Singles, 500 metres United States USA 4
1992 Summer 31 Barcelona Canoeing Men's Kayak Fours, 1,000 metres United States USA 9
1996 Summer 35 Atlanta Canoeing Men's Kayak Singles, 500 metres United States USA 8 h2 r3/4

Men's Kayak Singles, 500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 2.5cT 2.5cR 2.5-5cT 2.5-5cR
1988 Summer 27 Seoul Canoeing United States Final Round 4 1:46.73 51.26 4 55.47 6
1988 Summer 27 Seoul Canoeing United States Semi-Finals Heat One 2 Q 1:43.40 49.51 2 53.89 3
1988 Summer 27 Seoul Canoeing United States Repêchage Heat One AC Q
1988 Summer 27 Seoul Canoeing United States Round One Heat One 4 1:43.41 49.01 3 54.40 4
1996 Summer 35 Atlanta Canoeing United States Semi-Finals Heat Two 8 1:42.335 50.56 8 51.775 5
1996 Summer 35 Atlanta Canoeing United States Repêchage Heat One 2 Q 1:43.384 50.54 1 52.844 5
1996 Summer 35 Atlanta Canoeing United States Round One Heat Three 6 1:44.763 51.96 8 52.803 5

Men's Kayak Fours, 1,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Date
1992 Summer 31 Barcelona Canoeing United States USA Final Round 1992-08-08
1992 Summer 31 Barcelona Canoeing United States USA Semi-Finals Heat One 1992-08-06
1992 Summer 31 Barcelona Canoeing United States USA Round One Heat Three 1992-08-04
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