5-RING CIRCUS: Stunning loss of key IOC member Patrick Baumann, 51

A stunning and sad moment with the surprise passing of International Basketball Federation Secretary-General Patrick Baumann (SUI), at age 51 from a heat attack suffered at the YOG in Buenos Aires.

His loss is almost unimaginable as he became, essentially, the second most important member of the IOC after its president, Thomas Bach.

Besides being a member of the International Olympic Committee himself, Baumann was the head of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), was the head of the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the vice-chair of the 2024 Olympic Coordination Commission and one of the drivers for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne (SUI), among other offices.

Said Bach in a statement, “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.”

Baumann is, for the moment, irreplaceable, especially as a confident and supporter of Bach. His loss will be keenly felt for years.