I don't have opportunity to meet personally with Bengt Saltin but going through his works on human physiology notably muscle biopsy is a wonderful work which is to be an example & inspiration for the upcoming scientist in the field of sports performance and sports training. I express my deepest sympathy to his family.
He was a great scientist who was able to speak with all the people, both scientists and not scientists. I say Tak
Nathalie Biasolo md
I am sad to learn of the death of a giant in the sports science world. He has left an amazing legacy of excellence, friendship and leadership. He was a founder member of ECSS and I well remember my first meeting with him on that subject. It was an honour to know him.
My deepest sympathies and prayers for his family, friends and colleagues.
Sincerely, Maureen Edmondson
My deepest sympathies for the family, friends and colleagues of Prof Bengt Saltin.
Sincerely, Zélia Matos
Professor Bengt Saltin, was a legend in his lifetime, a wonderful mentor and friend, who has helped so many people and changed the treatment of so many people, by all his Research. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine of Ireland in recognition for his work. He will be greatly missed.
Prof Emeritus Moira O Brien
Dear Professor Saltin, I had the chance to meet you once in Copenhagen in 2005. This unique meeting is still a very strong memory as it changed my life, marking the beginning of my postdoctoral journey with Professor José Gonzalez-Alonso. We shared a common passion for exercise physiology and your impressive career was and will remain inspiring for my work and I believe also for a lot of colleagues around the world. Where you are now, I wish you will find the answers to the many research questions you explored. You will be deeply missed.
Bengt Saltin, a giant in Sport Science, an outstanding human being and a “man of culture”… I will always keep in mind Bengt’s ironic and benevolent smile…as well as a long and argued discussion on some aspects of the thoughts of Sœren Kierkegaard in a sunny garden, beside the Mediterranean sea, in 1995 during the founding meeting of ECSS…
I am so sad to hear of the passing away of Prof Bengt Saltin. Condolence to his close family and also sports sciences family. His name will always remain.
Bijan Goodarzi, Iran
First time I heard about Prof Saltin work, was during the exercise physiology course during my BSc. Unfortunately, I never met him, but his contribute to modern exercise physiology is of great inspiration for all of us. We will work also in his memory.
Alex Buoite Stella
It is with a great sadness that I learned of the death of a giant in the world in exercise physiology: Professor Bengt SALTIN. It was an honor to meet him, several times during the various conferences held on the sport sciences. My first meeting with him was during my participation to the International Congress of the French Society of Sports Medicine, held in Monaco in 2007 and the last one was during the Congress of the ECSS held in Barcelona in 2013. I immediately understood his stature and his importance for the world of physiology applied to sport. A man devoted to research in sport & health and I have always appreciated his seminal works on the determinants of physical performance. Sincerely with my condolences for his family, friends and colleagues,
Dr K. Said Aissa
The Olympic Sports is deeply saddened by the loss of Prof Bengt Saltin.
My words cannot enough describe the feelings of loss after the passing away of my mentor Bengt Saltin. He was generous with his time, knowledge and experience, had a wonderful sense of humor and sometimes the most crazy ideas that turned out to be brilliant. I will remember him for his great contribution to physiology, but also for the little things like his frustrated fascination with why women persisted to wear "these unpractical high heeled shoes", that he preferred e-mail over telephone and how he loved to watch cardiac MRI images of the pumping heart.
Although this message was expected, it striked me a lot! I am a sport scientist who received insight into our beloved field at the Sports University Cologne, where I first met the personality Bengt Saltin and become aware of the founding of the ECSS in the early 90ies. From this time on to me he was always the scientific conscience and motor for becoming a researcher in exercise physiology. I will never forget the meeting in a tavern in Thessaloniki in 1997 and his closing speech in Cologne 2001. In his special way, he gave you the – the young investigator – the feeling that your research is important and convinced you to go on. Thank you for that!
Sincerely, Susanne Ring-Dimitriou
Sincere condolences to a true scientist in the world of human performance, physical activity and exercise. As South African who was expelled from the international scientific world for many years due to the country's former apartheid policy, I was fortunate as one of only a few from our country, to meet Prof. Saltin at international conferences. Not only was he inspiring with his research and work in our field, but also served as an icon which I used in many occasions with my undergraduate and post-graduate students. His vision and intercollegiate approach in the development of sport and exercise science will truly be missed in the world.
Prof Dawie Malan
When I received the message of the loss of our sole, our heart and our spirit, I could not accept it. Today, one week later I am finally capable of understanding what this loss means to us. What is Bengt's legacy? Bengt, the inspiring farther, the greatest scientist of his field and the true friend of so many of us wants us to carry his work further. What he has done to the entire sport science community is incredible. Let us respect this example, thank for his quidance, his leadership and frienship.
Paavo Komi, Patron of ECSS
Dear Bengt, you had a special place to sit in our balcony towards the evening sun. We keep it for you.
Raija Komi, your friend
I am so sad for the abrupt leave of Prof. Bengt Saltin. I will memory the virtues and the value of those who make a profession of exercise and sport science and related fields to progress rapidly and effectively. I wish the best for him and his name shall appear to the world. I wish him go to the heaven.
Dr Boonlerst Outayanik
I was one of the lucky persons who had the chance to have him as a teacher. In my case during the "European Master in Biology of Physical Activity" (1996-97). Bengt was with no doubt the teacher who impact me the most in mi life. Not only because of his knowledge, expertise, experience, …. He was a real good person who cared about his team, his students. As a leader he had the ability to obtain the best of us, to work at the maximum throwput, with maximum motivation. He will never die completely because he will be alive in our minds forever.
PhD Michel Marina
My deepest sympaties to the family and friends of Beng Saltin. I had opportunity to meet him and collaborate with him for many years. During these years I learnt that he had an amazing capacity to see the problems and possibiliries of sport science. Even representing different fields of sport science the collaboration with him was easy and educational experience for me. He was one of the gratest researchers in sport science.
Risto Telama, founding member of ECSS
I am devastated to hear of Bengt´s untimely death and find it hard to believe that the spiritus rector of the ECSS and longtime friend is no longer with us. My thoughts go out to your family and friends.
The Russian community of the specialists in applied physiology is deeply saddened by the loss of the eminent scholar in exercise and applied physiology Dr Bengt SALTIN. Most of the contemporary Russian scientists working in exercise physiology are educated on his works. During his life he was a real leader in the field of human performance and has left a rich legacy of excellent achievements. His life on the Earth will continue in the works of his pupils and successors. With sincere sympathy,
Inesa Kozlovskaya, Olga Vinogradova, Boris Shenkman, Valentin Sonkin
A tribute to Bengt Saltin: Your inspiration has been immense in a steady continuum of 40 years mutual scientific curiosity. It has been like a never ending endeavor with maintained research collaboration across fields: from the subcellular muscle level to professional Tour de France cycling and reaching out to physical activity in a health perspective – scrutinizing underlying physiological mechanisms. Bengt has been like a mountain of knowledge and like a shepherd guiding along the successful trails.
Prof Gisela Sjøgaard, ECSS - Executive Board
Bengt Saltin’s experience and knowledge, his productiveness, innovative research approach and his personality were a great inspiration to all of us. Always helpful, always positive, always ambitious, always genuinely interested in science as well as sport - and often on a bike carrying a biopsy needle. Always a very special man: a generous genius gentleman.
Peter Krustrup and Magni Mohr
One of the titans of exercise physiology and exercise science has left us. He leaves an incredibly rich legacy – most and foremost he always understood and promoted exercise science as a inter- and multidisciplinary academic endeavor. I therefore see him as THE spiritual father of ECSS.
I met Bengt for the first time in 1979 at an exercise physiology in Milano (organized by Paolo Cerretelli). I was proposing skeletal muscle tissue as an important determinant of VO2max which immediately led to a heated exchange with Bengt over central vs. peripheral limitations to VO2max. A controversy that lasted for many meetings and publications over an almost 20 years period of time. It was just before Christmas 1996 when we finally got together (with Peter Wagner) in Bengt’s home in Copenhagen to write a chapter in a book and finding the common ground for our opposed views. Bengt Saltin was my scientific hero and at the same time my most formidable opponent. We all will miss Bengt.
Hans Hoppeler, former president of ECSS
I was moved to hear about the passing of my friend and colleague, Bengt Saltin. I still can see him as an enthusiastic supporter of the creation of the European College of Sport Science. As a matter of fact, I rememebr that we were sitting together in Nice talking about the necessity of founding a European society dealing with sports science in the broadest meaning of the term "science". Among the "founding fathers" Bengt undoubtedly was one of the most respected scientists in the field. His good mood, his otspoken sense of humour, and his comradship contributed largely to the further development of the European College of Sport Science. He will remain forever in our hearts and minds. My sincere thoughts of sympathy go to his family and his many friends.
Marcel Hebbelinck, founding members of the ECSS
It is with great sorrow that I’m writing these words. However, I also understand that Prof. Saltin accomplished a lot during his academic life that will allow his name to last forever. It was an honour to assist his plenary session in Barcelona. My deep sympathies to the family and closest friends.
Bengt Saltin: 789 publications, 35027 citations, H index 99 (Web of Science 17/9/2014). I am proud to say I knew you as a friend and colleague Bengt. “If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.” Beryl Markham (1902-1986)
I would like to bring my testimony of admiration and gratitude toward Bengt who allowed a considerable improvement in the development of sport science. I met him in the late seventies and had the priviledge and advantage to obtain, in the following years, his collaboration during several scientific events organized locally. His expertise, reputation and accurate knowledge of the international status of Sport Sciences were crucial to push a group of colleagues in the launching of the ECSS in 1995 in Nice. Beside of his great value I will remember of his simplicity, even temper and humanism.
Pierre Maronnet, founding member of ECSS
Bengt and I first met in 1971 when he invited me to spend a year of research with him and Phil Gollnick in Stockholm, Sweden. By that time Bengt was already established as a giant in the field of exercise physiology. The scope, depth, publication and presentation of his research are legendary. But, his real legacy may be as a mentor of young scientists. For me, the time spent with Bengt was life-changing. He was unquestionably the most outstanding exercise physiologist of the last 60 years.
I have not worked with Bengt Saltin but remember that he gave his honorary lecture at the Biological Basis for Elite Performance (BBEP) conference in 2012, organised by the Physiological Society, and the organisers were moved to tears during standing ovations that would not end...
I was lucky enough to spend six months with Bengt Saltin when he was on sabbatical in Australia many years ago. I was a very junior staff member at that time and the encouragement he gave me was amazing. We would meet each week with him challenging my knowledge and providing me with references to chase up on to further our lines of discussions. He was so open with his knowledge and generous with his time on helping me to develop my skills and techniques, usually with me as the researcher and him as the subject.
The one task that was challenging was for me to keep up with him on our periodic runs as he was committed to doing extended intervals that left me in his wake and me using the recovery periods to catch up before the next interval started. Vale Bengt Saltin
Kenneth Graham PhD
Dear Bengt, we will miss you. Your research achievements in the field of human exercise (and inactivity) were immense and they will remain. You helped many many researchers along the way (including me). So we mourn your passing and send fond wishes of sympathy to your family and friends. Those who heard your 2012 lecture at the Physiological Society meeting on Elite Performance will not forget it.
All my respect to Prof. Saltin, a real pioneer in human physiology. I never met Bengt Saltin in my life, but this was always a wish. Thank you for the insipiration. To his family, friends and colleagues go my deepest sympathy.
Bengt Saltin was the professor in work physiology, many years ago when I started my studies at the August Krogh Institute in Copenhagen. At that time for us students he represented a distant authority of the highest wisdom within the area. Later, his keen interest and advice meant a lot in my post doc period and his evaluations later for the decision on pursuing a career. I also learned that besides his immense knowledge, he was a man with a warm encouraging smile and temper. His scientific testimony speaks for itself, 50 years with uninterrupted publication within physiology and sports science. It is hard to realize that we have lost this true source of inspiration and I feel thankful for having known Bengt.
Bengt Saltin was and is an inspiration for many other exercise scientists including myself. He was one of the experts on my thesis committee and I vividly remember the rich discussions we had at that time and also later when we would meet at conferences. We are all standing on the shoulders of giants, and Bengt Saltin certainly is one of the biggest ones. I wish his family strength and courage.
Though Prof Saltin has departed from us, he has not truly left us, for he is still alive in our hearts and minds, through ECSS, he lives on.
Dr. Sandeep Goud
Dear Bengt, I am writing to you personally because I – like many, many others – feel that you are still here, in our thoughts, minds, and hearts.
I so very well remember our ECSS-founding meeting in Nice in 1995 when we discussed in our founding group intensely and controversially the future name of the ECSS: “Physical Education”, “Exercise Science”, “Sports Medicine”, “Sports Science” and many other terms. You terminated the discussion by saying: “I am a Sport Scientist”. So the Founding Members chose the name “European College of Sport Science”. Knowing quite well the national discussions, I was really surprised and happy that you, Bengt, had taken this position. Hereby you set the direction of the development for the past and future ECSS, which has been and still is extremely successful, as we all know. Your long-lasting experience as one of the few international scientists with an absolutely outstanding reputation and great achievements was the foundation for this new concept of sport science. During our mutual time in the ECSS I had the honor to meet with you so many times and collaborate with you closely for many years. It was a time that I remember with gratefulness, respect and much pleasure. I learned so many things from you. I am deeply touched and saddened that you will be no longer with us. Farewell,
Joachim Mester, Founding Member of the ECSS
Bengt Saltin has taught us that „science“ is not all about verification and falsification. He lived „science“ as a human and demonstrated dedication to be the real challenge for our college and for upcoming generations of scientists, irrespective of their disciplines.
Albert Gollhofer, former ECSS President
The next event will be good because You meant it and You will be with us in our souls...
Gisele Maria Schwartz
My first contact with Bengt Saltin was an early morning walk in the park in Edinburgh during the Commonwealth Games in 1986. Then, a first year postgraduate student invited to attend a symposium, he mused over the conflict he had in the data supporting both peripheral and central limitations to maximal oxygen uptake and how he was to address this in his forthcoming symposium presentation. He actually asked for my opinion! I was awestruck then and remain so to this day. A great man and a great inspiration to many, I included. Thank You Bengt.
I will miss Bengt Saltin, a pioneer and leader in sport science, and a good old friend with whom I had the privilege of interacting, discussing and collaborating over the years. Bengt has been one of the few investigators I ever met who has been able to explore the effect of exercise in humans first by asking the right questions, then addressing these questions with a global integrative physiology approach.
We were together, all of us, sailing to the unknown in the ocean of knowledge. And all of a sudden we became voiceless as the words became meaningless. We only listen to the exquisite music of that strange procession and say goodbye to Bengt, to the captain we lost...
Vassilis Klissouras, Founding member of ECSS
Working for Bengt and being part of his projects has been one of the greatest privileges in my life. His importance for so many peoples understanding of science and physiology cannot be described, but what really stands out for me was his human qualities. Just truly grateful for having known this great man.
My heartfelt condolence. May his soul rest in peace.
Dr Sudeep Satpathy
Only through his legacy a man lives forever. Your body rest but your legacy is alive in all of us professor Saltin.
As an emeritus professor at the VU University Medical Center I have great respect for Bengt Saltin. He was an outstanding researcher in the field of exercise physiology. I met him in Copenhagen and several other conferences. He was the one who initiated muscle biopsies. He was always on the fore front such as the european alternative of ACSM. The ECSS has now become an important exchange in sport science between sportscientists. Bengt has realised this. I will never forget him and bring my condleances to his family.
Though he has departed from us, but he shall be always be part of us in our Hearts and minds. May he rest in perfect peace.
The department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, would like to express our heartfelt condolences to his family and colleagues. The Department is saddened by the loss of Professor Bengt Saltin. Bengt had a profound impact on the Department both strategic and personally, which will influence our thinking for a long time and stand in the future.
Bengt had an unlimited interest in physiology and he had an enormous inspiring commitment. Few persons have such a genuine curiosity and very stimulating interest in physiology as Bengt had. He embraced this curiosity at all levels and have represented an important lighthouse for many of us. Bengt always aimed at not only describe, but understand basic physiological phenomena through exercise physiology, and explain mechanisms and regulation. He indeed succeeded in this. We want to express our deepest gratitude, that Bengt have shared his thoughts and expertise with us. Bengt will be missed, but still have a huge impact on our future life and thinking.
On behalf of Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Niels Ørtenblad
Dear Professor, I do thank you very much for so many great things… You have been, be and will be a beautiful inspiration for humankind, for Sport lovers, … Your spirit will always live with us inside our minds and hearts. My deepest and most heartfelt sympathy for his family and friends.
Really a pity to lose such a man who was at the forefront of scientists in the field (exercise physiology) and I say that it is the competence and difficult to solve one of his place.
Prof. Fadhel Kamel Mathkor, Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq
As a personal friend and the elder representative of two generations of Rodolfo Margaria's scholars in Milan and abroad, I wish to express our deep grief for the loss of professor Bengt Saltin and our condolences to his Family and to the ECSS.
Bengt has been one of the forerunners of modern Human Exercise Sciences, particularly, of Muscle Physiology. His legacies are pioneering ideas, commitment for research and human sympathy. The international scientific community will miss Him.
It was a great honour to have been able to interact with Bengt Saltin throughout my research career. I first became aware of his contributions to physiology as an undergraduate student in the early 1970’s and then had the pleasure of interacting at meetings and in research collaborations over the next 40 years. His integrated approach to human exercise and applied physiology has set the benchmark for others to aspire to create. The linking of high level clinical investigation skills with more basic physiological measurements has allowed our subject area to make major advances. His encouragement of young researchers and the recruitment of medically qualified researchers into human physiology were major contributions to help establish an excellent basis for developing our subject further in the future. I had the honour in 2003 of being the external speaker at the meeting which celebrated the success of the CMRC and Bengt’s role in it. His contribution to Human Physiology will continue after his death, as his former students and colleagues continue the work which he started.
I highly appreciate his contribution to modern exercise physiology. Sincerely condolences to his close family.
Nevena Pencheva, Bulgaria
A lot of years ago, I begun my lectures in Sport Sciences, with Dr. Saltin. How a lot of colleagues… A person in great for the steps in his own life… He is a Great person… I ´m deeply saddened for the loss of Prof Bengt Saltin. Forever…
To the Saltin family:
Words cannot describe how in debt I am to your beloved Bengt, but, as a fellow CMRC student, I would like to add my sincerest condolences to your loss. I only have the best memories of Bengt. To me, coming from South Africa, and being my first visit to a foreign country (afraid and confused about what career path I should follow), Bengt was the one who opened his laboratory doors, welcomed me in and made me passionate about science and muscle. I learned so much in those three months I studied in Copenhagen - especially working on Bengt's camel muscles. He was so kind to me, being like a father figure. I will always remember Bengt as this soft spoken, passionate-for-science person who loved what he was doing. And, he was a man of his word. All of us who studied and collaborated with him (his extended family), will miss him greatly. His legacy will live on forever.
Dr. Tertius Kohn
I am very sad for the sudden death of Professor Bengt Saltin. I will mention the virtues and value of those who make a profession of exercise science and related fields to progress quickly and effectively. I wish to receive the best attention and his name must appear to the world.
Namane Abdel Ghani, Secretary-General of the International Academy of Sports Technology, Sweden
When my generation started in the field of exercise physiology more than 40 years ago, Prof. Saltin was still an outstanding scientist. I had the honour to meet him several times on congresses. We learned from his work and his papers gave us new ideas and were impetus for our scientific and educational job. Our sport science community has lost one of the greatest professors and this is really the reason of great sadness for all of us.
Prof. Stjepan Heimer, Zagreb, Croatia
Belorussian sports medicine specialists would like to express their sincere condolences for untimely death of Prof. Saltiin. His fruitful activity in ECSS allowed to significantly widen the knowledge of Belorussian medics in the field of sports physiology and successfully apply it in practice of health protection of elite sportsmen as well as those who are making their first steps in sports.
Dr. Siarhei Yeudaliuk
A few weeks before Bengt Saltin passed away he wrote me a letter saying „I am a physically very weak man but I still have my geist and writing drive“. This sentence represents Bengt’s passion for Sport Science. For me Bengt has always been an outstanding scientist, an admired leader in the sports science community and a real personal friend. I will never forget the many hours I could share with him, his ideas, his theories and his wisdom. Without Bengt ECSS would not be where it is. It was Bengt who made ECSS an association which from the very beginning was mainly focussing on high quality science and on highly motivated young scientists. We have to accept that Bengt has left us. But we promise Bengt to continue and follow his visions.
Erich Müller, former ECSS President
Dear Bengt, how sad to learn of you having passed away. It was such a pleasure and honour to make your acquaintance and to serve ECSS through the newsletter in the first years after it was founded and deeply influenced by your expertise. You were such a remarkably excellent and at the same time modest researcher and teacher. I hope you found a comfortable resting place in scientists' heaven. Yours, Dorothee.
Dr. Dorothee Alfermann, Leipzig University
The National Sports Academy Madagascar is very touched by the loss of Prof Bengt Saltin. Our sincere condolences.
Prof. Patrice Ranaivoson
It was with great sadness that we received the news of the untimely death of our colleague Bengt. The Sport and Exercise Community in the UK offer our sincere condolences to Bengt’s family particularly his children Ola, Asa and Anna. Bengt was internationally acknowledged as an outstanding scientist and as well as a generous human being who led by example. He encouraged young and not so young to pursue their research questions with intellectual rigour in order to uncover the mechanisms underpinning human exercise performance. His presence at conferences and seminars in the UK were ‘must-attend’ occasions because his presentations inspired and encouraged us to greater efforts in our respective areas of research. An outstanding scientist who rarely lost sight of the need to translate research findings into application. As a young researcher in his lab at GIH in Stockholm I remember Bengt spending long days leading several research studies in parallel and then going off to compete in night orienteering competitions: at the time he was President of the Swedish Orienteering Association and later President of the International Orienteering Federation. As the founding President of ECSS he played a central role in developing its scientific culture of supporting young researchers as well as helping set the direction for its current success. Bengt’s research career spanned early studies on oxygen uptake of athletes to explorations of training-induced changes in gene expression. Bengt leaves a huge body of published work that has advanced our understanding of the limits to human performance that has no equal in modern times, yet his greatest legacy is the impact that he has had on hundreds of researchers who have been inspired and encouraged by his example as a scientist and friend. Thank you Bengt.
Clyde Williams, BASES
God bless your soul and bring patience to his family.
Mr. BOUGHERBI Mohamed
Sincere thanks Bengt for the impressive gifts to SCIENCE during more than five decades.
Kurt Jørgensen, University of Copenhagen
The words are missing to say how I feel. ECSS has lost one of its fathers. We were so proud to contribute to the “birth“ of the College with him. We will never forget all these years of partnership. Thank you so much Bengt for what you gave to the College and to all of us.
Sylvie Chartron, Honorary Member
I think I discovered the importance of Bengt Saltin in exercise physiology and sport science before I could distinguish Norway from Sweden on a map. His research was among the very first “non-textbook” sources I ever read as a young student, and he immediately commanded my attention. Throughout my education, “Saltin papers” played a prominent role in helping me consolidate what I thought I understood, and did not yet understand. They still do. But “his work” was more than just the massive collection of published research his name is associated with, it was also the hundreds of students and collaborators he nurtured and developed, and the strong research centers and organizations (like ECSS) he helped foster. His name, like perhaps DB Dill and few others, is one exercise physiologists like to try to trace their own scholarly training through, like a 6 degrees of separation game. Most of us can and we think that is cool. Saltin’s legacy included a scientific and collaborative “international attitude” that tore down borders and walls. Even though I never cooperated with him directly, I know I benefit from 50 years of Bengt Saltin’s fascinating intellectual hunger and willingness to share. Well done Professor Saltin. Truly well done.
Stephen Seiler, ECSS - Executive Board
Prof. Bengt Saltin was one of the true pioneers of our research field. He excelled in his work, because he loved what he did. I will continue to admire him for following his interests, sharing his enthusiasm with those around him, and inspiring others to do the same. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.
Luc van Loon
I am so sad to hear of the sudden passing away of Bengt Saltin. I would like to express to his close family and to his friends my deepest sympathie. It is sad that Bengt had to leave our world so early. We both were a great team in the executive of the International Orienteering Federation. I was so glad that we both could spend a whole day together at the World Orienteering Championships in France in 2011.
Thanks, Bengt Saltin, for bringing sport scientists from all over the world together under the ECSS-umbrella. Friends and scientists from more than 70 countries will continue to do research from the platform you have created with great passion and world leading research skills. For the last years you contributed to the building of bridges between natural sciences and social sciences and it was an inspiring experience to work together with you with the World Village of Women Sport-project. Even if the buildings are not there – the networks and your ideas still are. We learnt a lot from you and we will honor your memory at ECSS 2015 in Malmö. Sincerely condolences to Bengt´s family.
Susanna Hedenborg & Aage Radmann, Congress presidents, ECSS Malmö 2015
I was only a student when I first met and had a chance to discuss with Professor Bengt Saltin. I have considered him as a leading star in the Scandinavia, a role model in science to learn from. My deep sympathies to his family and friends.
Taija Finni, FECSS
Bengt Saltin 1935-2014
When great researchers and scientific mentors die, it fills one with emptiness. Bengt Saltin has throughout his entire life – from the early research years at Karolinska Intitute in Sweden until his late years in Copenhagen, Denmark – provided an uncomparable effort within the sports- and exercise-physiological field both nationally and especially internationally.
In relation to ECSS, Bengt was very supportive and encouraging when I was involved in the ECSS Board over several years, and had the pleasure of serving as a President for ECSS for 2 years, 2003-2005.
No task was too small or too big for Bengt Saltin. Whether it was a key-note lecture at a major conference or a teaching lesson in a sports union, he always provided an excellent inspiring performance. Often the lectures were filled with data, and often only with a few initial experimental observations, but Bengt Saltin always managed to bring observations together, to form a theory, and always to “tell a story” that lead many young researchers to see the “light” in the research field. Often findings were presented by him in one way one year, but the next year it would be different. That wasn’t the point, the question was how it scientifically looked right now in a certain moment, and Bengt was never in doubt when he presented his work at that given moment. Once Bengt at a conference presented an entire story about altitude metabolic changes in muscle, basically by interpreting blood lactate data from 2 Swedish climbers! Needless to say that later studies in fact proved his theories right, just with more detailed invasive studies, and a higher number of “n”.
Bengt Saltin was mentored by Professor Hohwü-Christensen – a dane that travelled to become professor in Sweden – and after Saltin became MD in 1962 and obtained his D.Sci degree in 1964 on “Aerobic work capacity and circulation at exercise in man” he became docent and later professor in Stockholm. Ironically, professor Hohwü-Christensen now inspired the Swedish born Saltin to travel to Denmark to become professor there, and it was between these two countries he would have positions through the rest of his life. His Swedish language was so well recognized and understood in Denmark that he did not bother to learn Danish at any point in his life, but many Danish student learned quite a few Swedish words from him!
Bengt had an extraordinary capacity to inspire a whole generation of researchers in spe, and many of us have tried to be persuaded by Bengt Saltin to help with or perform experiments that we would otherwise have never done. From testing runners in Kenya, taking biopsies for a friend in Japan or sampling muscle in the break of a football game. He always liked the lab atmosphere, and many studies have been carried out under conditions that demanded all of the research environment to come through.
Some years ago a Nordic evaluation of Sports Sciences was performed, and interstingly Bent Saltin refused to ever having done any Sports research, despite the fact that he probably more than any had contributed to the understanding of mechanisms behind exercise and sports. He insisted to the very end that it was integrative physiology he had done, and “sports” may un-intendently have taken use of his findings. In many ways the goal was clear, the integrative physiology had to be accepted on equal terms with other scientific field, and he managed to an utmost degree to accomplish that. In Denmark and Sweden, exercise/integrative physiology is even today considered equally prestigious as other scientific field in physiology.
When we as young researchers grew up J Physiol was the finest place one could publish in, a long time before the impact factor race “squeezed” the physiological journals. For Bengt Saltin, J Physiol was always considered one of the finest places to publish. Not many years ago – when one author of this text was in the editorial group of this journal – a distinguished old professor in a meeting among editors mentioned that he “had never found it very interesting to study individuals that sweat (exercise)” arguing for a reduction in number of papers within exercise physiology. However, as it quickly was demonstrated the integrative-exercise papers had by far higher IF than the average for the journal, and markedly higher that many other fields. That this was the case we can all thank Bengt Saltin for. He either performed the studies, collaborated on them or had stimulated and inspired others to work in the field.
When Bengt Saltin in 1993 was offered to become chair of the Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre in Copenhagen, it marked a beginning of an extremely fruitful period in Danish exercise physiology, and the degree of international networks and visiting researchers was enormous. Through the dynamic leadership of Bengt Saltin many young researchers developed into having their own groups. This was an important fundament for creating several professorships within exercise physiology and a lot of other areas within especially the medical field where exercise research was to be incorporated and supported the strong tradition not only of integrative research, but also of integrating natural science and medicine.
Bengt Saltin gave everything in his life to research, and research gave him many things back. Until his very last days he was occupied in solving “just one more scientific question”. He not only performed a gigantic effort within exercise science, we was exercise science. The world will never be the same without him, but it feels like he from his cloud still watches whats going on, and has established a whish among many of us to carry on “the stick in a relay run” further in the hope that his attitude towards research will live on forever.
On behalf of my association, I would like to express my deepest feelings on the passing away of Prof. Bengt Saltin. We are very sad to hear his passing away, and we would like to share our deepest sympathies with his family and colleagues. His contribution to the sports science creates a special place for him in the history of sports science, and young researchers will always be inspired with his studies. Thank you Prof. Saltin. May god bless your soul.
Dr. Mutlu Turkmen, Secretary General International Science Culture and Sport Association
I felt deep sadness in receiveing the message on Bengt´s passing away. I have very warm and pleasant memories of Bengt, and I admired him greatly as a scientist and as a person. I remember very well the first time I met Bengt in one of the Skidläkarkurser in Storlien. He was very friendly, easy to speak to, gave briliant lectures and showed tremendous stamina in skiing with slalom skis and boots on the fjälls when we others had to work hard by using ordinary equipment. Every time I met Bengt or heared of him these same characteristics came up. We did not meet very often and not for lengthy time, but those times vere always pleasant, and I felt Bengt as great colleaque and good friend. I admired greatly Bengt´s endless creativity in doing and excellent quality of the research on a great variety of important and novel aspects of exercise physiology. I admired also Bengt´s work in combating bravely against doping, important, demanding but ungrateful task. I got to know of Bengt's serious health problems and was astonish of his unyielding willpower in continuing to do what he thought was important to do. Respectfully,
A not little part of what I know comes from the work of Prof. Saltin. I feel a great gratitude and admiration. We have lost a light.
Very very sad to learn of the passing of Prof Saltin. A Giant in Sports Science. Will be missed by ALL.
Dr M E (Shorty) Moolla Sports Physician South Africa
I wish to express my condolences. As a former Rector of The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NSSS) I met Bengt quite a few times; Bengt held an honorary doctorate at NSSS and he took part in several NSSS evaluation committees. I also had the pleasure of collaborating with Bengt in international evaluations of sport science, in anti-doping work, and in the ECSS context.
I come from the social sciences/humanities. From the very first meeting Bengt met me with respect and openness. I was impressed with his insights into and understanding of scholarly perspectives different from his own. This is not always the case in the highly specialized fields of modern science. Bengt combined intellectual openness with a critical mind. He will be deeply missed across all disciplines of sport science - he was among the very best.
Sigmund Loland, ECSS - Executive Board
In one of my last email exchanges with Bengt, he expressed his great appreciation for the scientific quality of the YIA presentations at the Amsterdam congress. Bengt followed the ECSS development very closely. In all those years, his guidance was indispensable and his spirit an inspiration for us working in the administration of the ECSS. We will continue to follow the visions of our founding father Bengt Saltin.
Thomas Delaveaux, ECSS Executive Director