ELF Award 2012

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Norweigan Olympic rowing champion, Olaf Tufte and the World Spirometry Day Lung Champions


  • Interviews with ELF Awardees

The 2012 ELF Award was presented to the 30 Lung Champions of the World Spirometry Day campaign.

As part of the WSD 2012 campaign, various people with lung diseases have been recognised as ‘Lung Champions' as a result of their personal achievements in sport and activity. These people were from a range of backgrounds, ages and abilities but had all achieved success in a sport or activity despite living with a lung disease.

The Lung Champion campaign was headed up by Norweigan Olympic rower, Olaf Tufte.

Olaf developed asthma during years of hard work in bad environments on the family farm and hard training in all kinds of weather, but in 2012 he competed in his fifth Olympic Games in London – a feat achieved
by few rowers. His achievements include two gold medals in the Beijing and Athens Olympics in the single sculls and one silver medal at the Sydney Olympics in the double sculls. He finished 9th in the Men’s Single Sculls race at London 2012, out of 33 initial competitors.

Olaf accepted the award at the European Respiratory Society's annual congress in Vienna, on behalf of the 30 Lung Champions. He was also joined by 11-year old Alex Supple; a dedicated rugby player and Lung Champion from the UK, who also lives with asthma.

Chair of the European Lung Foundation, Monica Fletcher, said: “Olaf is a true champion and does not let his asthma limit or impact on his dedication to his goals. As the face of the World Spirometry Day campaign, we wanted to recognise Olaf’s hard work at achieving his ambitions and inspiring the next generation of athletes. Exercise is such an important part of managing asthma and we hope others with the condition will be motivated by Olaf’s attitude to reaching the peak of his sport.”

Olaf Tufte, Alex Supple, Monica Fletcher and ERS President Klaus Rabe

After receiving the award, Olaf said: “I’m delighted to have received the ELF award and I hope it can inspire others in my position to get involved in exercise or sport, at any level.“I am determined not to let my asthma limit me or restrict my ambitions. Instead, I see it as one challenge among many that I need to master in order to come top in my sport. People with lung conditions can lead healthy, active lives – if they take steps to ensure their condition is identified early enough and treated well.”

To read more about the Lung Champions and their achievements, visit the WSD website.

Interviews with ELF Awardees

Watch the interviews with Olaf Tufte, Alex Supple and David Supple about the ELF Award 2012.


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