The president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, Thong Khon, and secretary-general, Vath Chamroeun, joined the International Olympic Committee and sports leaders all over the world in condoling the death on Sunday in Buenos Aires of Swiss national Patrick Baumann.
Baumann served as an IOC member and had been leading world basketball governing body Fiba as its secretary-general for the past 16 years.
Baumann, who was 51, was a central figure of the Olympic Movement, which touched nearly 200 countries across the world, including Cambodia.
A former player, coach and referee, Baumann dedicated his life to basketball and to the sports community. He played a major hand in successfully supporting the spread of 3x3 basketball.
In a tribute to Baumann and his commitment to basketball in particular, the Cambodian Basketball Federation expressed its shock and sadness over the sudden death of an administrator who had helped raise the profile of the game especially in countries where it was not always popular.
“It is with deep sense of sorrow that we received the news of Baumann’s passing during the Youth Olympics. It is a void that cannot be easily filled,” NOCC chief Khon said.
“Though we at the NOCC did not directly associate ourselves with Baumann, we were well aware of his administrative capabilities and his dedication to duty helping NOCs big or small and the role he played in promoting the Olympic Movement,” added secretary-general Chamroeun.
The NOCC’s Ken Gadaffi, himself a basketball player with one of the capital’s top teams in Extra Joss Warriors, was full of praise for Baumann’s lasting legacy in basketball, in particular pushing hard for the popularisation of the 3x3 game.
Baumann had continuously and actively participated in IOC’s development throughout his mandate as a member of several IOC Commissions.