Zdenko Kahlina – Sport made me who I am
All of my childhood memories, or at least most of them, are grounded in some sort of sport activity. Growing up in a family where my father and my brother were cyclists I remember how much of an impact cycling had on my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual development. I can honestly say that I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for sport and especially sport of cycling.
I was born in Zagreb, Croatia (1951), where I lived until 1989. I was a cyclist racing all over the Europe from 1965 until 1979. These were very different times than today. Eddy Merckx was at his best, and the Russians were dominating in the amateur cycling. The rest of the world was just able to take peaces left from Russians. I raced for 14 years and had five big and long seasons. During that period I started in more than 100 races each year. Some of the bigger races were Tour of Algeria, Tour of Austria, Tour of Yugoslavia, Tour of Slovenia (Alpe – Adria) and many others. For three seasons I was a member of the Yugoslavian national team. My victories include eight national titles, including hill climb, cyclo-cross (my specialty), track titles and some smaller international races.
After my career as a racer, I continued to be active in cycling. At first as a club secretary, and than I took some courses, and become a cycling commissar. I even got my international license in 1985. Also, I took some coaching courses in 1985 and 1986, and started to work with cadets and juniors in my hometown Zagreb. Soon afterwards, I decided to move with my family from Zagreb to Edmonton, where we still reside up to this day.
In parallel with cycling expertise I developed in the direction of Information Technology and computers, so for many years I have been working as a system programmer for a large insurance company here in Edmonton.
I still ride my bike regularly, but this time it is only for my pleasure. I am married to the most beautiful person in the world, since April 1974. My wife’s name is Vera and we have two children (Neven and Sanja) who live in Edmonton. We have dual citizenship and are proud Canadian – Croatians and we visit our homeland whenever we can.
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