I still today remember the day I showed up at Intrum Justitia's boatyard in the UK 20 years ago. Magnus was there welcoming me with a huge smile. From being quite stressed about making the cut to be part of the team, I felt supported right away.
That was Magnus. He could make anyone feel like they were the best of the best. So incredibly positive – always. I sometimes wondered, where did he get this all from? I am sure he also had his moments, but I have never met a single person on this planet who spread more smiles and joy than Magnus.
He could play any trick or joke on anyone, and always be getting away with it. Once in '94 we were sailing with sponsor guests and Magnus had a guest in the spinnaker halyard – halfway down he decided to lower her into the water instead with her handbag, clothes, shoes and the whole thing. Everyone laughing, especially Magnus and even the poor girl in the water. We could write a book about all his jokes and comments. They never ended.
But Magnus was also an incredible athlete. I say athlete because his talent as a multi-sport athlete was just as impressive as his sailing. Even though he wasn't born with the perfect legs, he was outstanding at tennis, skiing, golf, skating and of course sailing. Having Magnus on the team in the old days when we had the Whitbread Olympics Multisport competition in Punta del Este was a sure winner! Magnus has an impressive sailing resumé but what impressed me most was his 2008-09 race skippering Ericsson 3 at the age of 60. Even then when the race had become more physical than ever, he could keep up with the younger generation, and do so competitively. He loved sports, he loved ocean racing to the end and he raced and coached others simply because he really loved it.
I will miss him and the whole Volvo Ocean Race will miss him greatly. There is a large picture of Magnus's smiling face on the wall of my office in Alicante. That will stay there and remind us all of how much a smile and being positive matters – in a race boat, around the world and among anyone you meet. anywhere.
Volvo Ocean Race lost a true Legend today. We shall never forget Magnus Olsson.
Knut Frostad is the CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race