Grunde Vegard (NOR)
2011 Honor Diver
INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: 1989 MASTERS WORLD GAMES: silver (1m), bronze (3m, tower); 1990 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m, 3m), silver (tower); 1992 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m), silver (3m), 4th (tower); 1994 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m, 4m, tower); 1996 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m, 3m, tower); 2000 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: silver (3m, tower), 4th (1m); 2002 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: 4th (1m, 3m); 2004 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m), silver (3m, tower); 2006 FINA MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1m), bronze (3m), 4th (tower); MEMBER FINA MASTERS COMMITTEE.
Grunde Vegard recalls it was only plain diving and that they could only practice in the months of June, July and August. The year was 1942. He remembers mostly the cold and the men of war.
In 1951, a friend asked him to take part in the regional championships and he agreed. Ten days later, after he had learned eight dives in that short amount of time, he won two bronze medals. Vegard says: “And it was done. I have been hooked ever since.” The team had no coach, so Grunde took on the task. To keep fit in the off season, a long eight to nine months, the divers did gymnastics. Finally in 1976, they got their first indoor pool so they no longer had to stretch summer from May to September in the cold Norwegian air. Since then, he has coached his divers in four Olympic Games, 1968 Mexico City, 1972 Munich, 1976 Montreal and 1984 Los Angeles. He gave up coaching in 2008.
Grunde began diving Masters in 1989. He has won 27 Norwegian Championships over a period of 20 years. He has taken part in 11 European Championships and has 20 gold, six silver, and two bronze medals. He has competed in 11 World Masters Diving Championships, winning 12 gold, seven silver and six bronze medals.
In addition to his career as an athlete and coach, Grunde Vegard has been an International and Olympic judge; Member of the Board of the Norwegian Swimming Federation, 1958-1975; President of the World Diving Coaches Association 1972-1984; Member of the LEN Masters Committee, 1998 to present and is currently a member of FINA beginning in 2004.
Grunde Vegard has had a wonderful career as an athlete and has given back to the sport of diving along the way.