KEOMT is saddened to announce that our teacher, mentor, and good friend Olaf Evjenth passed away on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Born in 1926 and raised on a farm in Northern Norway, Olaf went on to become a significant force in the promotion and evolution of manual therapy in Norway and around the world.
Olaf was a passionate life long learner. He earned his physical education degree in 1954, his physical therapy degree in 1960, his manual therapy certification in 1969, and his international manual therapy certification in 1973. In addition to his impressive professional credentials, Olaf was also an avid sportsman, specializing in track and field, who coached and treated Norwegian teams in four summer Olympics (1956, 1960, 1964, and 1968) and one winter Olympics in 1972.
Olaf is best known in the physical therapy and manual therapy world for his work with Freddy Kaltenborn. Together, he and Freddy developed the Kaltenborn-Evjenth Concept, incorporating patient education and a distinct manual therapy based examination, intervention, and therapeutic exercise approach, which emphasized balancing patient safety with enhancing human movement performance. Olaf’s contributions to the K-E Concept were distinct and crucial, and he remained a passionate advocate of the concept throughout his active years of teaching and clinical practice.
Olaf spent a great deal of his professional life cultivating a patient-centric approach to treatment and a student-centric approach to education. Traveling to countless countries and continents over five decades, Olaf grew to appreciate the uniqueness of each people and culture and the similarities that bound our profession to its commitment to serving those people. It could be said that manual therapy was as crucial to Olaf as Olaf was to manual therapy. Even in his advanced years, it was the one topic that grounded him and would light the fire in his eyes.
On behalf of KEOMT and the countless number of grateful manual therapists worldwide, we would like to express our thanks to Olaf for sharing his passion, knowledge, wisdom, and friendship these many years. Olaf is survived by his daughter Kristin and two granddaughters Olivia and Vendela.