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21 Oct 1968
Mexico 1968

Plain sailing for Sundelin siblings in the 5.5m

Sweden became a focus for family teams during these Games. The four Pettersonn brothers had represented the nation over more than 100km of cycling. And won a silver medal. In sailing, there was another family affair.

It came in the 5.5m event, where Sweden were represented by the three Sundelin brothers. They came from the small resort of Ektorp – Jörgen, who was 23, Peter, 21, and the oldest brother Ulf, who was 25 year old.

Some thought they lacked experience and that three brothers would not have the right blend. The critics could not have been more wrong, for the performance of the Sundelins was little short of astonishing. In seven races, they took five victories and finished the other two races in fourth and fifth.

The brothers kept sailing at the top level. They competed together in the three-person keelboat four years later but didn't win a medal, and then the group broke up. Ulf stopped after the Munich  Olympics, Jorgen stepped down from the Swedish team following the 1976 Games in Montreal, while Peter kept going until 1980, when he competed in the two-man keelboat at the age of 33, and just missed out on another medal as his boat finished in fourth place.

There was another Sundelin as well. Eight years after that famous gold medal, and with two of the brothers still competing at the Games, their cousin Stefan Sundelin joined Jorgen and Peter to make another all-Sundelin Swedish team in the keelboat for the 1976 Games. They finished ninth. The boat that took the brothers to gold in 1968 was called Wasa IV. It was sold to new owners, and later sank in Germany.

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