IOC Member Patrick Baumann, 51, passes away

International Olympic Committee member and FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann suffered a heart attack and died while at the Youth Olympic Games.

IOC Member and FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann suffered a heart attack and passed away at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

He was 51.

A highly valued member in Olympic circles, his death has come as a shock to the Olympic movement and the wider world of sport.

"This is a great shock, which has hit us all very hard. We can hardly believe this terrible news," IOC President Thomas Bach said 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."

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) also released a statement.

"Despite receiving immediate medical attention, he suddenly and unexpectedly succumbed to a heart attack during the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, Argentina," the FIBA statement reads.

Patrick Baumann speaking at the 133rd IOC Session, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo: IOC)
Patrick Baumann speaking at the 133rd IOC Session, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo: IOC)Patrick Baumann speaking at the 133rd IOC Session, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo: IOC)

The IOC President has requested that the Olympic flag 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 to honour of the memory of Patrick Baumann.

The IOC will also hold a memorial in the Youth Olympic Village.

A rising star in Olympic circles

Baumann worked tirelessly for the Olympic family as an IOC Member since 2007.

As Chair of the Evaluation Commission for the Games of XXXIII Olympiad in 2024, and Vice-Chair of the Coordination Commission for the Games of XXXIII Olympiad Paris 2024, he was focused on a smooth transition between Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028, helping the two host cities to work closely with each other.

News of his passing at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires was particularly poignant as Baumann was also President of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee.

His record speaks for itself, as set out by the IOC statement:

"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)."

Lawyer, academic, leader, and linguist, the Swiss-born Baumann spoke five languages and had an extraordinary 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.

Rising to Secretary General of FIBA in 2002, Baumann counted on unanimous support and continued in this role up to his sudden passing.

Basketball has lost a leader, an advocate and a friend and our thoughts are with Patrick's wife and two children at this tragic time. - FIBA Official statement on the death of Patrick Baumann

The world of sport is united in mourning and in remembering one of its brightest lights Patrick Baumann.

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