Thorvald Strömberg was Finland’s best kayaker in 1948, but at age 17 he was considered too young by the Finnish selectors. Two years later, he was allowed to go to the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was the first trip abroad for the young fisherman, but he took home a gold medal in the 10,000 m kayak singles, as well as a silver medal in the 1000 m, behind Sweden’s legendary Gert Fredriksson, whom he had beaten in the long distance event. In front of his home crowd, Strömberg achieved the same results at the Helsinki Olympics, again with Fredriksson as his chief opponent. Strömberg attempted to retain his Olympic title in Melbourne, but stomach problems left him outside the medals. He did regain his world title in the event, winning the title in Prague in 1958. Strömberg was later the chairman of his canoe club in Ekenäs and fulfilled various position for the Finnish canoe/kayak federation. In 2000, he was honoured with the Pro-sports award of the Finnish ministry of education.