You Are Here > > > Kurt Wires

Kurt Wires

Full name: Kurt Oskar Wires (Virtanen-)
Nickname(s): Kurre
Gender: Male
Height: 5-9 (176 cm)
Weight: 163 lbs (74 kg)
Born: April 28, 1919 in Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
Died: February 22, 1992 in Espoo, Uusimaa, Finland
Affiliations: Drumsö Kanotister, Helsinki (FIN)
Country: FIN Finland
Sport: Canoeing

Medals: 2 Gold, 1 Silver (3 Total)

Biography

Before World War II, Kurt Wires was a promising young kayaker, but his career was interrupted by the war. Wires served with the Finnish Army and lost his right eye during the Continuation War. Wires continued his sporting career after WWII and rose to be one of the top long-distance kayakers of the world. Wires first competed internationally at the 1948 Olympics, where he won a silver medal in K1-10,000, just half-a-minute behind the favorite [Gert Fredriksson] of Sweden.

Wires initially retired from sports after the 1948 Olympics, but made a comeback in 1952, when the Olympic Games were held in his hometown of Helsinki. At the Finnish Olympic trials he finished only third behind [Thorvald Strömberg] and [Yrjö Hietanen] and was not selected to the Finnish Olympic team in K1 events. Wires then teamed up with young and promising Hietanen to compete in K2 events at the Olympics, which they surprisingly won in front of the home crowd, beating the favorites Swedes [Gunnar Åkerlund] and [Hans Wetterström] by 0.4 seconds in the K2-10,000 event and a day later beating the favorites Swedes [Lars Glassér] and [Ingemar Hedberg] by mere centimeters in the K2-1000 event. After the Olympics, Wires retired from sports for good.

Outside of sports, Wires worked his whole life with the office equipment distributor Oy Konttorityö. Starting as a salesman in 1945, Wires was promoted to sales manager in 1954 and retired from the firm in 1987 as vice-president.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Summer 29 London Canoeing Men's Kayak Singles, 10,000 metres Finland FIN 2 Silver
1952 Summer 33 Helsinki Canoeing Men's Kayak Doubles, 1,000 metres Finland FIN 1 Gold
1952 Summer 33 Helsinki Canoeing Men's Kayak Doubles, 10,000 metres Finland FIN 1 Gold

Men's Kayak Singles, 10,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1948 Summer 29 London Canoeing Finland Final Standings 2 51:18.2

Men's Kayak Doubles, 1,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit Date
1952 Summer 33 Helsinki Canoeing Finland FIN Yrjö Hietanen Final Round 1952-07-28
1952 Summer 33 Helsinki Canoeing Finland FIN Yrjö Hietanen Round One Heat One 1952-07-28

Men's Kayak Doubles, 10,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit Date
1952 Summer 33 Helsinki Canoeing Finland FIN Yrjö Hietanen Final Standings 1952-07-27
id: 9,565