Sporting world mourns passing of Patrick Baumann

To say that the shock that awaited us when we all learned that FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann had passed away still has not gone.

Along with his duties at FIBA, Baumann was also president of the Global Association of International Sports Federations, he was appointed vice chair of the IOC’s coordination committee for Paris 2024, chair of the coordination committee for LA 2028 and was president of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games organising committee.

Such was his love for sport, his passion for the Olympic movement, he passed away while attending the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires at age 51.

“Everyone in the British Olympic family will be profoundly shocked and saddened by the news of Patrick Baumann’s untimely death,” said British Olympic Association chairman Sir Hugh Robertson in a statement.

“He was well known to all of us involved in London 2012 and represented all that is best in international sports administration. He was understated, decent and absolutely devoted to achieving the best outcomes for basketball and the wider Olympic movement. He will be greatly missed.”

For Baumann, basketball was his first love, a former player, coach, and referee in Switzerland and Italy, he was a friend to the entire fraternity and always gave nothing but support.

One of his most memorable decisions was granting the Great Britain national sides a spot at the London 2012 Olympic Games, a decision that was met with pure joy and excitement around the British community.

“I’m saddened to hear the dreadful news of FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann’s passing,” tweeted Julie Page, who captained the GB women’s basketball side at the London Olympics. “Sending all our condolences to his family on this terribly sad day!”.

In a statement, NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver said: “I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Patrick Baumann.

“We were just together for the first FIBA World Basketball Summit in Xian, China — an event he established to bring together basketball stakeholders from around the world. Nobody was more dedicated to the growth of basketball than Patrick. He loved the game and recognized its power to transform people’s lives.

“He was also a dear friend and colleague who I attended countless games and events with over the past 20 years. The NBA family mourns the loss of Patrick and we send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Patricia, his children Bianca and Paul, and his many friends in the basketball and Olympic communities.”

Twitter reaction:

The news of Baumann’s passing has unsurprisingly spread around social media today – as the sporting world pays its respects to the 51-year-old, who was loved the world over.