The Prime Minister of Sweden has spoken out in tribute of double world motocross champion Hakan Carlqvist, who died on Friday age 63 after having a stroke. The Swedish premier Stefan Lofven spoke out about the man who he’d watched race and who was a national sporting hero in Sweden, winning the Sports Personality of the Year in 1983. It was an accolade also won by tennis players Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg and golfer Henrik Stensson.
Lofven said: “It’s very sad and of course he’s been taken far too early. He was a great role model.
“I have a particular interest in motorsport and he was a huge role model for young motorsport enthusiasts. I saw Hakan “Carla” Carlqvist race motocross several times and it was absolutely magical. He was a fighter. He said himself that he was patched and repaired many times.”
Carla’s brother Bertil says the champ had a brain haemorrhage on Wednesday and was rushed to hospital in Toulon, France. He passed away in the early hours of Friday. The pair were about to go on a motorcycle tour of the Alps and had talked via Skype the day before the stroke struck.
Bertil said: “ Hakan and I had planned some routes in the Alps, we would ride and have a good time. He was very excited and in a pretty damn good mood on Tuesday afternoon.
“He was my best friend. We were both born on the motorcycle. Hakan and I and have been together since we were little, come rain or shine. My head is spinning right now with so many callers. I’m just trying to gather myself. We’ll do what we can to help and support his wife Anneli.”