Category Archives: In Memoriam

Death of Patrick Baumann, IOC Member

It is with the greatest sorrow and shock that the International Olympic Committee has learned of the death of Mr Patrick Baumann, IOC Member in Switzerland, in Buenos Aires. He was 51.

Patrick Baumann was a central figure in the Olympic Movement.

A former player, coach and referee, Patrick Baumann dedicated his life to basketball and to the sports community. He was Deputy Secretary General (1995-2002) of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and then unanimously appointed as Secretary General by the FIBA Central Board in 2002, a role he had held since. He was greatly instrumental in the transformation and growth of the sport in the international basketball community, successfully supporting the popularisation of 3×3 basketball, for instance.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “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. 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.”

To honour the memory of Patrick Baumann, the IOC President has asked for the Olympic flag to be flown at half-mast at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne and at the IOC headquarters at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires for three days. The IOC will also hold a memorial in the Youth Olympic Village.

An IOC Member since 2007, he had been recently appointed as a member (2016-2017) then Chair (2017) of the Evaluation Commission for the Games of XXXIII Olympiad in 2024, then Vice-Chair of the Coordination Commission for the Games of XXXIII Olympiad Paris 2024 after the French capital won the right to host the Olympic Games 2024. He was also Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission Los Angeles 2028, helping the two host cities to work closely with each other.

A Swiss national, Patrick Baumann was also President of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee.

Patrick Baumann had continuously and actively participated in the IOC’s development throughout his mandate, as a member in the following IOC Commissions: Evaluation for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in 2008 (as an IF representative) (2000-2001), Coordination for the Games of the XXX Olympiad London 2012 (2007-2012), International Relations (2008-2014), Sport and Law (2010-2014), Evaluation for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2020 (2013), Entourage (2014-2015), Marketing (2014-), Athletes’ Entourage (2015-2018) and Legal Affairs (2017-2018).

Patrick Baumann
photo credit: FIBA

Able to speak five languages, Patrick Baumann had a remarkable academic record: an MBA from the Business School of the University of Chicago, a Master’s in Sports Administration Management (MEMOS) from the University of Lyon in France and a law degree from the University of Lausanne.

A man of numerous talents, as a lawyer he always demonstrated a great sense of responsibility: he was appointed to the International Advisory Board of the World Academy of Sport in 2009, had been a member of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) since 2010, and was also a member of the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Patrick Baumann was elected as a Council member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) in 2011 and re-elected in 2015; he was elected as President of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) in 2016; and as President of SportAccord in 2017.

The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Mr Baumann’s family.


Lagos SWAN Mourns Late Patron, Moses Iloh

The Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter has expressed shock at the demise of one of her patrons, Reverend (Dr) Moses Iloh.

While extolling the virtues of the late cleric and veteran sports administrator, Lagos SWAN Chairman, Mr Debo Oshundun said Reverend Iloh will be greatly missed as he had been a pillar of the association for many years.

In an emotion laden voice,the Chairman said “Despite leaving us at a ripe age, Reverend Iloh’s demise is a great loss to us in Lagos SWAN and the country as a whole.

We would forever miss him because he was not just our patron but our father.

“Rev. Iloh was a passionate sports man and he was always there to advise and guide us at any time we run to him.

“I pray the Almighty God grant his soul eternal rest and also give his family members and the sports community the fortitude to bear this great loss.”

Rev Iloh aged 88 years played a major role in completion of the Lagos SWAN secretariat.

Ejidike, Ikpea, Elutabe, Others Mourn Rev. Iloh

Nigerian sports fraternity have been thrown into a mourning mood over the death of former footballer and sports administrator, Rev.( Dr) Moses Iloh.

Reports emerged that the one time President of the Cycling Federation of Nigeria passed on Sunday aged 88 years. And expectedly, stakeholders and sports enthusiasts have been reacting to the news.

Nigeria’s Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus Agu-Ejidike, in a statement released from his office expressed shock over the death of Rev. Iloh, whom he described as a ‘genuine and patriotic man’ .

“This news is a great shock. Rev. Iloh was a genuine and patriotic man who was passionate about the development of Nigerian youths through sports.

“On behalf of the Nigerian sports community, we pray that God grants his family and particularly, the Nigerian sports, the fortitude to be bear this great loss. And may his enviable legacies never be destroyed, ” Ejidike prayed.

In a similar vein, the National Chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters’ Club, Rev. Samuel Ikpea, described the death of the revered sports administrator and clergyman as the ‘loss of a titan’ in Nigerian sports.

” Late Rev. Moses Iloh was a great man and an accomplished sports administrator who did a lot to help the growth of Nigerian sports in several capacities.

Rev.( Dr) Moses Iloh.

” The NFSC commiserates with the Nigerian sports fraternity and pray also that God will continue to guide and guard his family,” Ikpea added.

President of Freestan football club, Prince Efemena Elutabe, on his part called on the sports family to ensure that the enduring memories and legacies of late Iloh are protected and equally seen as sources of inspiration to the future of Nigerian sports.

“That the respected sports administrator is no more, should not make us forget all he did and achieved for our sports. His life and times must be a source of inspiration to everyone of us,” Elutabe, owner of the Lagos based NLO side admonished.

Late Rev. Iloh who was the General Overseer of Soul Winning Chapel, was a renowned footballer who played for Plateau XI in the 50s alongside the legendary Teslim ‘Thunder’ Balogun.

Akeem Busari

Nigeria Wrestling Federation Condoles With Gov. Dickson On Mother’s Demise

The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) commiserates with Bayelsa State Governor, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson – a strong pillar, Patron and great sponsor of wrestling in the country – on the demise of his beloved mother late Mrs. GoldCoast Dickson.

Mrs. GoldCoast passed away in the United States of America this week after losing a battle with breast cancer at the age of 72.

We pray that God will grant His Excellency the fortitude to bear this painful and irreparable loss. May the Almighty equally grant her soul eternal rest in His bosom.

Accept our condolences, our Sports-loving Governor.

IOC Announce Death of Member Nat Indrapana

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Nat Indrapana, IOC Member in Thailand, at the age of 80.

With a strong academic background, Nat Indrapana was a key figure in the development of sport in Thailand and Asia, holding numerous positions within sports organisations in his country and continent.

He was Deputy Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand; Chairman of the Sports Development and Improvement Committee at the Southeast Asian Federation; President of the Asian Trap and Skeet Shooting Federation; a Council member of the Asian Games Federation and of the Olympic Council of Asia; and a member of the University Sports Board of Thailand.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “With the death of Nat Indrapana, the IOC loses a true gentleman of sport. With his outstanding gentleness he made many friends around the world, including me. Over the years of his membership, Nat contributed greatly to the Olympic Movement and the protection of its values. For this, he mobilised all his personal forces to serve the IOC even while fighting his serious disease. We will all miss him greatly.”

Indrapana entered the IOC in 1990 and had more recently been a member of the Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission since 2015 after serving on many other Commissions, namely Eligibility (1992-1998), Radio and Television (1993-1996, then 2002-2004), Culture and Olympic Education (1999-2015) and the Olympic Programme (2005-2013).

He closely followed the organisation of several Olympic Games by sitting on the Coordination Commissions for Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008, Rio 2016 and the 1st Youth Olympic Games Singapore 2010, in addition to taking part in the Evaluation Commission for the 2020 Games in 2013.

Holding a Diploma in Physical Education from Sydney Teachers’ College, Australia; Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Physical Education from California State University, USA; and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Physical Education from the University of Alberta, Canada, Indrapana was also awarded Honorary Doctorates of Philosophy by three universities in Thailand: Srinakharinwirot (Physical Education), Chulalongkorn (Sports Science) and Burapha (Sports Science).

In Srinakharinwirot University, he was Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education (1975-1977), Vice-President (1977-1987) and a member of the Council since 2007. Throughout his life, Indrapana was a member of the Councils of two other universities in his country: Mahidol (1990-1994) and Thammasat (1995-1997).

Nat Indrapana
Photo credit: IFMA

Further contributions to national sport came through his tenures as Vice-Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand (1989-1996), a member of the Board of the Sports Authority of Thailand (2002-2006) and Vice-Minister of Tourism and Sports (2007-2008). From 1996 to 2007, he was also Vice-President of Singha Corporation.

Indrapana played active roles whenever his country was called upon to host athletes from the region, and he was Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Organising Committee for the Asian Games Bangkok 1978, Chairman of Venues for the Southeast Asian Games Chiang Mai 1995 and a member of the Organising Committee for the Asian Games Bangkok 1998.

And for 10 years, between 1999 and 2009, he held a strategic position within an International Federation as Vice-President of the World Taekwondo Federation.

To honour the memory of Nat Indrapana, the IOC President has asked for the Olympic flag to be flown at half-mast at the IOC Headquarters for three days.

The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Mr Indrapana’s family.

IOC Announce Death of IOC Member Irena Szewinska

It is with deepest sorrow that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been informed of the death of Irena Szewinska, IOC Member in Poland, at the age of 72.

The most illustrious Polish athlete ever, Irena Szewinska participated in track and field events at five Olympic Games, winning three gold medals, two silver and two bronze: Tokyo 1964 (4x100m gold medal, 200m silver medal, long jump silver medal), Mexico City 1968 (200m gold medal, 100m bronze medal), Munich 1972 (200m bronze medal), Montreal 1976 (400m gold medal) and Moscow 1980.

She was also a 10-time world record holder in the 100m, 200m and 400m and a five-time European champion, with a further five medals (one silver and four bronzes) at European Championships. Szewinska was named Athlete of the 20th Century in Poland, with 26 Polish Championship titles (100m, 200m, 400m and long jump) under her belt.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “I am shocked and saddened about the loss of our dear Olympic friend Irena Szewinska. The entire Olympic family is in deep mourning. Irena will be remembered forever as an outstanding personality as an athlete and IOC Member. With her gentleness and modesty, she was a real role model, dedicating her whole life to sport. As such, she inspired athletes and women around the world. I personally experienced this over many years and I will always have fond memories of the time we spent together.”

“Our thoughts are with her beloved husband Janusz, all her family and all Olympic friends in Poland, at this difficult time. To honour her memory, I have asked to lower the Olympic flag at the IOC headquarters for three days.”

Szewinska was Vice-President of the Poland National Olympic Committee and Honorary President of the Polish Athletic Association after serving as President from 1997 to 2009. Her involvement in European Athletics remained after the end of her sporting career as she became a Council Member of the Association from 1995 to 2007 then Honorary Member thereafter.

Her commitment to the promotion of the Olympic ideals also continued as Vice-President of the Polish Olympian Association and Board member of the International Olympic Truce Foundation (IOTF) following her positions as Vice-President (1995-1999) then Executive Board Member (1999-2003) of the World Olympians Association (WOA).

Irena Szewinska
By Andrzej Barabasz (Chepry) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (, from Wikimedia Commons

She championed the cause of women in sport through her roles as Honorary President of the Polish Women’s Sport Association (having been the President of the organisation from 1994 to 2002) and Member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)’a Women’s Committee from 1984 to 2007.

Szewinska had been an IOC Member since 1998 and contributed to the organisation of the Olympic Games Athens 2004, London 2012 and Tokyo 2020 through her participation in the respective Coordination Commissions. In addition, she was an active member of the Women in Sport and the Sport and Active Society Commissions after serving on the Sport for All (1999-2015), “IOC 2000” (1999) and Radio and Television (2012-2014) Commissions.

In 2016, she received the Order of the White Eagle, the highest Polish distinction. She was also a Doctor honoris causa of the Academy of Physical Education and Sport in Gdansk, Poland.

Sir Roger Bannister – A True Giant Of Commonwealth Sport

Everyone across the Commonwealth Sports Movement was deeply saddened to learn of the passing on Saturday of Sir Roger Bannister at the age of 88 at his home in Oxfordshire, England. Roger’s name will forever be synonymous with the Commonwealth and Commonwealth Sport thanks to his part in “the Miracle Mile” – an historic race at the V British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada in 1954, which saw Roger and the Australian, John Landy – who at that time remember were the only two sub-four-minute runners in the world – fight to the finish line.

Rightfully, Bannister’s defeat of his Australian rival on the last bend of “the Miracle Mile” – in a time of three minutes, 58.8 seconds – has gone down in athletics history. Indeed, his achievement only a couple of months earlier in becoming the first athlete to run a sub-four-minute mile – in three minutes, 59.4 seconds at Iffley Road sports ground in Oxford on May 6, 1954 – became one of the great feats of the twentieth century. Roger’s achievement was all the more remarkable as it followed minimal training and was recorded whilst he was practising as a junior doctor.

As a person, Roger was not only good fun but he was great to talk to. Full of stories, life and laughter, I enjoyed the wisdom and wit he displayed on the handful of occasions that I met him. He was a true gentleman; he carried no airs and graces and was liked by all whom he came into contact with. I particularly remember one occasion, many years ago, having a coffee with Chris Chataway – who had paced with Roger to the first sub-four-minute mile in 1954 – and it quickly became apparent from chatting to Chris, who of course knew Roger so well, just how funny and amusing a person Roger was.

As I often say, the Commonwealth is a movement brimming with captivating stories of human feat and endeavour – in fact the Commonwealth excels, and one could argue is somewhat unique, in telling these kinds of stories – and, in my view, there is no greater Commonwealth sporting story than that of Sir Roger Bannister. It is no exaggeration to say that Roger was a true ‘giant’ of Commonwealth sport and an icon of international athletics.

Sir Roger Bannister
© Pruneau / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

I know I speak for many colleagues and partners from across the Commonwealth when I say how saddened I was by the news of his passing. Given his feat on the west coast of Canada in 1954, the Commonwealth is a family with which he will forever be synonymous and inextricably linked. Roger, quite literally, set the pace for all sportsmen and women worldwide, and he will be greatly missed by his peers, friends and the entire athletics community. He was undoubtedly an inspiration to us all, young and old.

When the Commonwealth Sports Movement gathers on the Gold Coast, Australia to celebrate the XXI Commonwealth Games in just under 30 days’ time, Roger will be well and truly missed, but, as the man who broke the four-minute-mile, he will be proudly remembered for years to come.

By Louise Martin CBE, CGF President