It is with great sadness that the Dutch National Olympic Committee * National Sports Confederation reports the death of Hein Verbruggen who passed away on Wednesday 18 May aged 75. The former UCI President and IOC Honorary Member had been diagnosed with leukaemia.
Hein Verbruggen was President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) from 1991 to 2005, and was appointed honorary chairman following his retirement. Under his guidance, the international amateur and professional cycling federations merged into the UCI, paving the way for professional cyclists to participate at the Olympic Games, starting with the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Hein Verbruggen joined the IOC in 1996 and became an Honorary Member in 2008. As IOC-member he also became NOC*NSF board member and was appointed NOC*NSF Honorary Member in 2008. Hein Verbruggen headed the Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2008 and became Chairman of the Coordination Commission for Olympic Games Beijing 2008. He also headed the SportAccord from 2003 to 2013.
"Hein Verbruggen has contributed greatly to the sport in general and cycling sport in particular. He has been, for certain, one of the most influence and innovated international administrators from Dutch soil. Almost up to his last days he has inspired the world of sport with his creative ideas and innovative vision about the future of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.", said NOC*NSF Secretary General Gerard Dielessen.
"This is a sad day for the entire Olympic Movement and for sport in the Netherlands and abroad. Hein Verbruggen’s clear vision and strong engagement will be dearly missed. As a true pioneer he launched the SportAccord Convention in 2003 and as Chairman of the Coordination Commission he contributed greatly to the success of the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games.", said NOC*NSF President André Bolhuis.
NOC*NSF offers its deepest condolence and prayers to Hein Verbruggen’s family and friends.