Sarasota, FL resident and BOP triathlete Carl Knutsson had a wonderful attitude and an infectious smile, but this passionate man is sadly no longer among us. The cause of death is unknown at this time, but that really is not important to me or the memory of him.
I met him accidentally in 2014 in Roth, Germany where he had just arrived to participate in the Datev Challenge Roth and he seemed beyond giddy to just be there. He however was very relieved when he realized that I spoke English and quickly unloaded a ton of questions and also had lots of stories to tell.
Knutsson was relatively new to the sport of triathlon but he was completely in. When he showed up in Roth he had already done several Ironman events including Kona, and he had proven a lot of people wrong along the way. He was not a lean mean fighting machine, and some races he was unable to finish because he did not make a mandatory time cut. That was also true in Roth in 2014 but he had a great attitude about it.
"Well, I see the sport as an evolution of oneself, a learning experience. I love challenges, no pun or endorsement intended, but to better oneself one has to push the envelope. Maybe I pushed mine a bit too far this time considering I had done IM Coeur d’Alene three weeks earlier. But if you don’t push yourself you will never know what you can do, right? The heat did not bother me since I am used to it living in Florida, but the bike climbs did me in. As you know Florida is rather flat. At mile 82 on the bike race officials pulled me over and said I was 15 minutes off the pace to finish the whole race under 15 hours. I could finish the bike, but no run. Oh well…a setback, but they are only temporary and makes the eventual finish that much sweeter," said Knutsson in an August 2014 interview,
Knutsson was part of the Sarasota Storm triathlon team and he also gave back to the sport as an official for USA Triathlon Florida Region. Triathlon is a very selfish sport but Carl Knutsson was always willing to give to others, and it never was about me, me, and me for him. In that relatively short time with us Carl Knutsson made a big impact on many people and his Facebook wall is currently getting filled with tributes from all over the world.
What makes this unexpected departure easier for me, is knowing that he will be reunited with his beloved mother.
Godspeed Carl Knutsson.