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Olympic Champion Čop Receives Highest Rowing Honour

Lucerne, 3 July - The best Slovenian rower of all time Iztok Čop is the recipient of this year's Thomas Keller Medal, conferred by the International Rowing Federation (FISA) for an outstanding international career. The 43-year-old is the first Slovenian recipient of the highest honour in rowing.

Bled Lake
Best Slovenian rowers, Iztok Cop (front) and Luka Spik.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA

The award, named after Swiss rowing champion and former FISA president Thomas Keller (1924-1989), is given to athletes within five years of their retirement from the sport. It recognises an exceptional rowing career as well as exemplary sportsmanship.

"I'm happy that I received this award to join the company of highly renowned and notable rowers, including my former rivals. It is one of the awards that mean the most to me, of course in addition to all medals that I have won," Čop told the STA on Friday.

The legendary rower will receive the honour as part of the final event of the 2015 World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland, on 11 July, from the hands of Keller's son Dominik at a gala ceremony.

Čop is remembered the most paired with Luka Špik in the double skulls, with whom he won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The pair also won silver in the 2004 Athens Olympics and bronze in the 2012 London Olympics.

Čop also won bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics with Denis Žvegelj in the coxless pair. His medal count also includes five golds and five solvers at world championships.

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© STA, 2015