Full name: Kurt Oskar Wires (Virtanen-)
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: DrumsÃ¶ Kanotister, Helsinki (FIN)
Medals: 2 Gold, 1 Silver (3 Total)
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 StrÃ¶mberg] and [YrjÃ¶ 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 Ã kerlund] and [Hans WetterstrÃ¶m] by 0.4 seconds in the K2-10,000 event and a day later beating the favorites Swedes [Lars GlassÃ©r] 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 KonttorityÃ¶. Starting as a salesman in 1945, Wires was promoted to sales manager in 1954 and retired from the firm in 1987 as vice-president.
|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|
|1948 Summer||29||London||Canoeing||Finland||Final Standings||2||51:18.2|
|1952 Summer||33||Helsinki||Canoeing||Finland||FIN||YrjÃ¶ Hietanen||Final Round||1952-07-28|
|1952 Summer||33||Helsinki||Canoeing||Finland||FIN||YrjÃ¶ Hietanen||Round One||Heat One||1952-07-28|
|1952 Summer||33||Helsinki||Canoeing||Finland||FIN||YrjÃ¶ Hietanen||Final Standings||1952-07-27|