September 28, 2020 2 min read
Ricky Bruch was a larger than life Discus thrower for the Swedish National Team in the 70s and 80s. Bruch placed 8th in the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City with a discus throw of 59.28m. He won a bronze medal in the 1972 Olympic games in Munich with a discus throw of 63.40m but also equalled the world record in June 1972 with a throw of 68.40 meters. Bruch was also an outstanding shot putter with a lifetime best of 20.28 m and a bronze award from the European Championships in 1971.
Bruch made it to the next Olympic games in Montreal (1976), but did not make it past the qualifying rounds, an event that would spark his legacy. This failure set Bruch off, inspiring him to train harder than ever. He trained with tenacity and maniacal intensity for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. However, he was snubbed by the Swedish Olympic committee from competing. Bent on revenge, Bruch continued training and entered smaller competitions. Eventually in November of 1984 he set a new World and Swedish record with a 71.26m discus throw at 38 years old. This throw allowed Bruch to prove to himself, Sweden, and the world that he was the greatest thrower since the throw would have won the 1984 Olympic gold medal by nearly five meters. That throw places him 9th in the all-time list and still stands as the Swedish record today.
Bruch was a workaholic when it came to training, and he made an impression on so many around him by having a good time along the way. He's been photographed testing doping on cacti, throwing with his favorite good luck charm, and displaying some of his special moves:
Ricky cited a quote from Baudelaire as encompassing some of his inner turmoil:
“This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to change beds; one man would like to suffer in front of the stove, and another believes that he would recover his health beside the window.”
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