It is with great sadness that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has learnt of the death of Hein Verbruggen, IOC Honorary Member in the Netherlands, at the age of 75.
A cycling fanatic and a true sports fan, Hein Verbruggen was President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) from 1991 to 2005. He also headed the SportAccord Convention from 2003 to 2013.
“Hein Verbruggen was a fearless fighter for his sport. Thanks to his great engagement and his management skills, he greatly contributed to the success of the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 as Chair of the Coordination Commission. For this he will be always remembered”, said IOC President Thomas Bach.
Hein Verbruggen joined the IOC in 1996 and became an Honorary Member in 2008. He headed the Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2008 (2001) and became Chairman of the Coordination Commission for Olympic Games Beijing 2008 (2001-2008). Verbruggen played an instrumental role in supporting the Organising Committee over the seven years of preparations, and hence contributed significantly to the success of the Games in Beijing.
He was also a member, as a representative of an International Federation, of the Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2004 (1996-1997) and consequently sat at the Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens (1998-2001). Throughout his career at the IOC, he was a member of the following Commissions: Marketing (1997-2008), “IOC 2000” (1999), Olympic Truce (2000-2013) and IOC 2000 Reform Follow-up (2002), and was also Chair of the Board of Directors of Olympic Broadcasting Services S.A. (Switzerland) (2003-2014).
Verbruggen started his career in sales before running his own consultancy business. In 1979, he joined the board of the Fédération Internationale de Cyclisme Professionnel (FICP) before becoming Vice-President in 1982, and President in 1984.
He was a Board member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) from 2000 to 2003, and represented the International Federations on the Foundation Board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from 1999 to 2002. Verbruggen played an active role within the National Olympic Committee of the Netherlands; he was made an Honorary Member in 2008.
Verbruggen received a number of distinctions during the course of his career. He became an Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau; was made an Honorary Citizen of Beijing, People’s Republic of China, in 2009; and was awarded the Olympic Order in 2010.
The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Hein Verbruggen’s family. As a mark of respect the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at the IOC Headquarters.