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Obituary of Michael Lohberg

Michael Lohberg

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Michael Lohberg (born in 1950) was a UnCategorized who was best known as a Olympic swimming coach. Michael Lohberg died on 4 April 2011 and his death was possibly because of aplastic anemia.

Michael Lohberg's Biography Stats:

  • Nationality:
  • Spouse: Biggie Lohberg
  • Father:
  • Mother:
  • Siblings:
  • Children: Stephanie and Christopher

Claim to Fame:

Michael Lohberg, one of the world's all-time greatest swim coaches, has died after a lengthy battle with aplastic anemia.

The six-time Olympic coach of the Coral Springs Swim Club and South Florida Aquatic Club died Monday from the rare blood disorder that he was diagnosed with a week after the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials.

At his death, Lohberg was 60 years old.

"The passing of Michael Lohberg is a deep loss to the Coral Springs Swim Club and Florida Gold Coast Swimming community," said SOFLO CEO Chris Anderson.

"His influential coaching style will be missed enormously by all swimmers, staff and colleagues, but also the people Michael mentored worldwide…a beloved figure to his family, swimmers staff and friends, his teaching ways with his sense of humor. Michael Lohberg will never be forgotten."

Within days of the diagnosis, Lohberg was told he had only a few days to live but his fighting spirit and love for his family and swimmers kept him battling until the end.

After he was diagnosed, Lohberg underwent experimental treatment at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. and further treatment at Memorial Hospital West.

Initially, the coach of five-time Olympian Dara Torres and several other world-class swimmers, had responded well to initial treatment for the rare, life-threatening disease that attacks the bone marrow, enabling him to return to the pool deck and travel to meets including the 2009 World Championships in Rome.

Eventually, complications from the disease and MDS wore his immune system down and he no longer responded to treatment.

"It's not my style to give up, I wanted to fight as long as I could and I did," Lohberg said during one of his final interviews. "When something like this happens, it totally changes the perspective on anything. I have a greater appreciation for life. I respect and appreciate the little things more. It's been a heck of a ride."

In December, Lohberg, who has been a father figure and role model for hundreds of swimmers and coaches, wrote a personal letter to his swimmers and parents informing them of what was going to be involved over the next three months. He was scheduled to undergo a bone marrow transplant in Tampa but further complications delayed the operation.

Since he was diagnosed, Lohberg said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from the community.

Swimmers, coaches and other friends around the world started emailing, calling and collecting money for hefty hospital bills and other expenses.

In his first public appearance since the trials, Michael Lohberg was overwhelmed by the turnout of friends, swimmers and coaches at a 3K Run/Walk held in his honor in November at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex where he built a world-class program that produced eight 2008 Olympians. Another 3K is scheduled for May 21 to raise money for the Lohberg family.

"I cannot tell you how baffled I am to see so many people out here," Lohberg said at the road race. "I thought maybe at my age and being head coach for a long time you can't learn much more about life, but I was definitely wrong. Since then I learn a lot of things about myself and about people. What happens since then and how much support has come to me has been just mind-boggling to me."

Lohberg qualified swimmers for six Olympic Games, from 1984 to 2008 and was working with several 2012 Olympic hopefuls from several countries. He had a record eight swimmers make the 2008 Beijing Olympics after having four of his swimmers make the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Lohberg, a German citizen was born in Krefeld, Germany. He led SSF Bonn to five German national team titles before leaving the country. He later went on to coach the St. Croix Dolphins in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Mission Bay Makos in west Boca Raton before moving on to the Coral Springs Swim Team. He played a key role in the merger of CSSC and Comets Swim Team into the South Florida Aquatic Club.

In addition to his work on the international stage, he coached Coral Springs Swim Club to nine Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympic Championships. He was inducted into the 2009 Broward County Sports Hall of Fame.

Lohberg is a certified ASCA Level 5 coach, the highest level attainable and one held by the top two to five percent of the swimming coaches in the U.S. at any given time.

Lohberg, who holds degrees from the University of Cologne in mathematics and Deutsche Sport Hochschule in physiology and physical education, was also one of the foremost authorities in lactate testing. He worked on lactate testing with several colleges including Texas, USC and LSU.

In addition to the Olympics, Lohberg coached swimmers for trials, World Championships, European Championships, Pan American Games and other meets. His swimmers have won numerous national individual titles and prior to 2005 had set 62 national records for Germany, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Switzerland and Virgin Islands.

Lohberg, who lived in Weston, is survived by his wife Birgit (Biggi), one of his former Olympic swimmers, who worked alongside her husband as head of the Swim America program at Coral Springs; daughter Stephanie and son Christopher.

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Related Links:

Wikipedia.org: Michael Lohberg


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This wiki page was last modified on August 05, 2019, at 12:43 PM EST

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