The Weekend Leader - Patrick Baumann, int'l basketball chief, dies in Buenos Aires

Patrick Baumann, int'l basketball chief, dies in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires


 Switzerland's Patrick Baumann, the secretary general of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), died here of a heart attack. He was 51.

Baumann, who died on Sunday, was in the Argentine capital for the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games and news of his death sparked consternation both within the IOC and in the basketball world.

"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, reports Efe news.

"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 added.

Gerardo Werthein, the president of the Argentine Olympic Committee and the top official for Buenos Aires 2018 said: "Patrick was a brilliant sports leader and a great person. I had the honor of having him consider me to be his friend. We're saddened by his sudden loss."

In tribute to Baumann, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-staff at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, as well as in Buenos Aires for three days, and there will also be a ceremony to pay homage to him at the Youth Olympic Village in the Argentine capital.

Born in Basel, Baumann was a former basketball player, coach and referee, served as FIBA deputy secretary general from 1995-2002 and then was appointed to head the organization.

He recently chaired the evaluation committee for the 2024 Olympic Games and was also president of IOC's Coordination Commission for the Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 and the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.-IANS

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