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European champion Emil Milihram opened up about the addiction

European champion Emil Milihram opened up about the addiction 11.6.2019

This year’s ECA Wildwater Canoeing European Championships in Soča Valley was a special one for Croatian canoeist Emil Milihram. He won three medals, individual gold in classic event and two bronze medals in team races, which gave him spotlight in local Croatian media, but it was not only his sporting success that caught attention in the press.

36-year-old canoeist from Varaždin, a city in northern Croatia, honestly opened up about his alcohol addiction and explained how sport saved him. Emil Milihram is considered one of the best wildwater canoeing paddlers of all times. It is not surprising. He won six consecutive World Champion titles in men’s C1 classic events (in the years 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016) and as many European champion titles in classic events.
He disappeared from the canoeing scene in 2016 after struggling hard with addiction, as he confessed to Croatian journalists after his great comeback at this year’s ECA European Championships on Soča River where he won three medals.
“I had many problems, ups and downs. I just couldn’t hold a grip with reality and break some things. I had three alcohol addiction treatments. The sport definitely saved me. I don’t even want to think what would be with me without sport. But the most important thing it was to make a click in my head. That’s why I want this medal to be a reminder for young people fighting any kind of addiction that the way out is possible,” said Milihram, who now wishes to successfully finish his tourism and sport management studies and find a job.





Sources: https://varazdinski.rtl.hr/vijesti/sport/3453677/emil-milihram-otvoreno-bio-sam-ovisnik-o-alkoholu-no-izvukao-sam-se-ova-zlatna-medalja-je-dokaz/ ; https://www.24sata.hr/sport/lijecio-sam-se-od-alkoholizma-triput-bio-u-bolnici-padao-630494 ; https://emedjimurje.rtl.hr/vijesti/drustvo/3454725/emil-milihram-otvoreno-alkohol-ga-umalo-stajao-glave-bio-sam-sravnjen-sa-zemljom/