RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Hans Jorgens Jensen, a US gold medalist in rowing at the 1948 Olympics, died May 23 in a Riverside County hospital. He was 79, and the cause of death was not available.
Mr. Jensen learned to row at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1940s. He was on the team that won a gold medal at the London Games. Mr. Jensen did not race in the final heat, but was an alternate for a sick teammate during the semifinals.
''The guy who had the seat had the flu all week long, and on the day of the final heat, he came back and sat in his seat," said Mr. Jensen's daughter, Andrea Jensen Gregg of Issaquah, Wash.
Mr. Jensen trained as an aviator at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida during World War II then returned to Berkeley after the war to graduate in 1949.
His heritage helped him land a job with the Central Intelligence Agency as a Scandinavian specialist. His family traveled with him on assignments to Denmark, Norway, and West Germany. For 30 years, he used a cover story, telling people he worked as a foreign service officer or political attaché.