One of the greatest rowers in Olympic history, Vyacheslav Ivanov, was famous for coming from behind and winning with a super-human push. In fact, Ivanov was behind by 7 seconds with 500 meters to go in his 2,000 meter single sculls competition in Tokyo, and won the gold going away.
And yet, Ivanov must have thought his string of Olympic champions, including Melbourne in 1956 and Rome in 1960, was ending even before he could even start.
How he must have felt when he saw two big cracks in the hull of his new scull on October 8, just arriving in Yokohama from Tokyo. How his vessel got damaged on the Russian passenger liner is unclear. What was clear was that he had to get it repaired.
But as fortune would have it, he was in Yokohama, a port city where ship repairers were in abundance, and he was in Japan, where quality and conscientiousness are of the highest levels. His scull was taken to a local shipbuilding company and two days later returned Ivanov as good as new. The results would attest to that.