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  • Updated: Tributes for Patrick Baumann, 51, Key IOC Member, Basketball Leader


    (ATR) The IOC is in shock after the sudden death of Baumann at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    He suffered a heart attack Oct. 13 at the Urban Park, also the venue for 3x3 basketball in the YOG. Earlier he had been assisting a sport climbing demonstration at the venue. He is said to have fainted and was taken by ambulance to hospital where he died.

    A memorial service in is planned for Sunday afternoon in Buenos Aires.

    “This is a great shock, which has hit us all very hard. We can hardly believe this terrible news. Particularly since, even today, we have seen him working hard, as we always knew him, for the sport he loved," said IOC President Thomas Bach in a statement.

    "We lose a young and sympathetic leader full of hope who was standing for the future of sport. Our thoughts are with his wife, his children and his family," Bach said.

    Baumann has been an IOC member in Switzerland since 2007.  He is survived by his spouse and two children.

    A Swiss lawyer, Baumann held key leadership positions across the Olympic Movement. He has been secretary general of basketball federation since 2003.

    "Under his leadership, FIBA moved forward by leaps and bounds, with the organization modernizing itself to the extent of becoming a model which fellow International Federations followed," said FIBA President Horacio Muratore.

    "Patrick was at the forefront of FIBA making radical changes to its governance structure, successfully building and moving into its own state-of-the-art
    Patrick Baumann with Ian Logan, CEO of Lausanne 2020, and IOC Pres. Thomas Bach at an event at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. (ATR)

    "His unwavering commitment, tireless work ethic and pure passion for basketball mean he will forever have his place in FIBA's history," said the FIBA president.

    Two weeks ago Baumann was in China for the inaugural basketball summit organized by FIBA.

    His most pressing portfolio was the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne for 2020. Baumann has led the push for the Games from the inception to the the final two years to go.

    A statement from Lausanne 2020 lauds Baumann's efforts on behalf of the project.

    "Patrick has, since its inception, been one of the pillars of the Lausanne 2020 project. He has supported it fervently at every stage, working tirelessly and passionately to bring together all those who build it. Father of two children, Patrick had great confidence in youth and took great pleasure in working with them, for them, with the objective of making Lausanne 2020 a truly innovative event," says the statement.

    In 2016 he took over as president of SportAccord and the Global Association of International Sports Federations.

    "Patrick was the driving force behind the transformation of GAISF, following his election to the presidency in 2016," says a statement from the association.
    Baumann and Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi in Los Angeles in 2017. (ATR)

    "Under his guidance, the organisation re-branded and found a new direction and fresh purpose within the Olympic family. He engineered GAISF’s pivotal Memorandum of Understanding with the International Olympic Committee, and put in place systems and procedures to ensure GAISF’s unity and assure its future as a key service provider for members in the fast-changing world of sport," the GAISF statement says.

    Last year he chaired the IOC Evaluation Commission for the 2024 Olympics that resulted in the awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Games to Paris and Los Angeles. He then was named the chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for LA 2028 and vice chair of the cocomm for Paris 2024,

    "He was an advocate for the Los Angeles Games who brought dynamic thinking, bold support and passion to the Olympic Movement," says LA2028 chair Casey Wasserman.

    "Shocked and saddened by this news. Patrick was not only an incredible leader in sport, but a true advocate for athletes. He will be greatly missed," tweets LA 2028 vice chair Janet Evans.

    Because of his age and experience, Baumann would have been a serious contender to become IOC President when the post opens up after the mandate of Thomas Bach, which could go to 2025.

    Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahd Al Sabah, IOC member in Kuwait and President of the Olympic Council of Asia and the Association of National Olympic Committees says he appreciated Baumann's vision.
    Baumann and Raffaele Chiulli of the Association of Recognized International Sports Federations in Buenos Aires this month. (ATR)

    “It is very difficult for us to accept that Patrick has passed away at such a young age. He was a dynamic and pioneering sports leader, not only in basketball but in all aspects of the Olympic movement.”

    “The OCA and ANOC have worked very closely with Patrick for a number of years, especially in the promotion and development of 3x3 basketball in his role of Secretary General of the International Basketball Federation FIBA.

    “Thanks to the support of Patrick and FIBA, the OCA has embraced 3x3 basketball and regards it as one of the most popular and fastest-growing sports throughout the continent.

    “Patrick helped us to achieve this with his vision and his love for the sport. As a member of the IOC, he was always passionate about developing sport among the youth and introducing ideas that appealed to a new generation of athletes and sports-lovers around the world," said Ahmad.

    Panam Sports President Neven Ilic and its Executive Board issued a statement of condolence, calling Baumann "a great sports leader, warm and caring human being."

    Baumann was a member of the World Anti Doping Agency Executive Committee since 2017. WADA President Craig Reedie calls Baumann "a man of great integrity and an outstanding young sports administrator with a bright future".

    "Patrick was much admired and respected by all, including by his fellow members on WADA’s Executive Committee and Foundation Board. I wish to recognize his immense contribution to sport and commitment to anti-doping. It is, without question, a great loss to these global communities," says Reedie.

    A statement from Gian Franco Kasper, president of the Association of International Olympic Winter Federations and secretary general Sarah Lewis saluted Baumann's work for the 2020 Winter YOG.

    "The Winter Sports Federations had worked closely with him for the past three years in his capacity as President of the Organising Committee for the Winter Youth Olympic Games, Lausanne 2020 and appreciated his true commitment to the project," the statement says.

    Coverage of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games is made possible in part by BA 2018
    Reported by Ed Hula. For general comments or questions, click here.

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