It is hard to find anything online about Martin Glagow, mostly due to his almost identically named daughter Martina, a 4-time Olympic and 12-time world champion medallist, hogging the limelight on the internet, but he certainly would have wanted it that way anyway. He was an extremely proud father who quietly and creatively worked away in the background preparing her race skis from all of the places; the British wax room. It is not uncommon for athletes to have wax technicians from other nations prepare their skis but this was kind of unique, as was Martin.
It is with great sadness that Martin has moved on and below are some of the memories that the British athletes have from spending time with him.
Martin was a terrific asset to the team: beyond the great skis that he gave us, he was a unique and sometimes bizarre mixture of calm (except when talking about how fast the skis were), a curiously un-English immodesty (“Yes, I have been very good also in gymnastics”), and the adult voice in the room. He was always positive even when it must have been frustrating to see us fail to capitalize on our ski speed. He was a part of biathlon that I missed very much when I retired.
Lee Steve Jackson
I had the pleasure of racing on Martin’s skis for 10 years (2002-2013). His unique waxing methods and dry humour, which were honed over many years with the British Biathlon Team. Certainly, German humour was a laughing matter where he was concerned. Never before or since have I known someone to select which ski was quickest from just standing (not skiing but walking) on the skis for 10metres. “One ski is good and the other is excellent” or “The Russian space agency has been on the phone and they require their rockets back.” Were only a couple of the many anecdotes we were subjected to on a regular basis. He wasn’t exaggerating. There were many times that a Retired German Colonel in his 60’s, alone had produced quicker skis than the Biathlon giants of Norway and German with their wax trucks and 6-man wax teams. I will always recall arriving at Races to the loudest wax cabin with AC/DC and a coughing and spluttering excited man who confident that we had some of the best skis on the tracks. Brutally honest feedback would greet you straight after the race. There was nowhere to hide for his analysis which would be delivered every evening at dinner with more jokes and anecdotes. A Legend in every way, making waxing like a dark art and a natural charisma and humour that made every day exciting and meaningful. If I was to say RIP he would say he doesn’t understand my TLA’s (Three Letter Abbreviations). Rest in Peace.
Emma Blackett (Fowler)
Martin Glagow was one of a kind, he was passionate, dedicated and only excepted the best. He had an amazing smile/smirk when he got one over on the team with his quirky sense of humour. I will always remember his stories about his Army days which were inspiring. RIP Martin Glagow.
Adele & Marc Walker
The Walkers have fond memories of Martin. A true gent who told you how it was.If you had a good result he would congratulate you, if it was poor, it was never the skis and would remind us of why he always tested the skis on the penalty loop! Adele enjoyed peppermint tea at breakfast and loved his infectious smile; especially when telling Martin, the skis were super! The table tennis tournaments were intense! He was rarely beaten by anyone. I enjoyed learning the “science” of waxing (That’s what martin called it) and the long road trips listening to rock music. He was missed when he left the team, but now sadly missed forever but always in our thoughts.
Now up in the clouds where he loved to be as mountain leader. RIP Mr G
Mark (Fred) Gee
Spending many years working around ‘Herr Glagow’ in the British Biathlon Team, Martin was a unique character and once you got to understand his alternative, dry sense of humour, Martin was actually quite a funny guy! He made me smile on the race days when it didn’t go so well and he was always there to celebrate the small victories we had putting it all down to his ‘Superior Waxing Skills’!! The proudest father I have ever met to his daughter Martina… her #1 Fan!! His unorthodox method of creating fast skis combined with his self-confidence will always be remembered amongst the athletes who we’re lucky enough to get Martins help.
I remember the first time I met Martin, in Antholz (Anterselva), Italy. The British biathlon team at the time had no full-time wax tech and the athlete spent most of their spare time trying to get their skis the best they could. Martin came over to us while we were having dinner and simply said “I can make your ski’s 1-2min faster in a 20km”, he offered to assist us as a way of showing us he could actually do that, the rest was history for us as he helped the team over multiple Olympic cycles, world championships and world cups. A strong character who knew how to work hard and have a laugh. Happy to put his opinion across and often bring a much needed second view to any discussions. I recall on such occasion smiling to myself as Martin would simply say “I told you so” later down the line had we made a poor choice.
I am very honoured to have worked with him and he will be truly missed. My deepest condolences go to his friends and family in this sad time.
Martin was simply put, a character. In the modern professional sporting world where such unique characters are ever decreasing, Martin was an obvious renegade not wanting to do the norm but having an idea (of how to prepare skis) and coming up with his own methods of success, although sadly that didn’t stretch to applying klister but that story is for another day! I was always warned about Martin getting hold of my skis and taking the dreaded metal scraper to them but I was just happy to have someone like Martin work his magic on my skis. I will always remember his clamber for collecting music and we would often swap each other collection of (dodgy) CDs to save onto our computers although we didn’t have the same exact taste in music (not sure anyone did truth be said) there was some overlap we both enjoyed in the wax room. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to lose to him at table tennis which after finally unplugging his waxing iron he took up quite seriously with some success I heard.
I was always have fond memories of Martin, he was crazy guy and was a good fit with our team, let’s face it you have to be somewhat crazy to try and succeed in this sport as a Brit!
I am sure he is waxing lyrical wherever his soul now is, RIP Mr Glagow
When Martin introduced himself to the Team by offering to prepare our worst skis for the World Cup race the next day…for free…we were very suspicious. Incredibly he transformed them into best skis as if by magic. Martin was a true asset to the British Team from then onwards and we very rarely had a bad ski’s day. Martin became a good friend and we all enjoyed his special brand of motivating the Team. He was well respected from his Military days, as a top climber and in his earlier life as a gymnast representing Germany.
In Loving Memory