German Olympic coach dies following car accident in Rio

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 16, 2016 03:11 PM
 German Olympic coach dies following car accident in Rio
FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2004 file photo, Germany's Stefan Henze bites his silver medals during a medal ceremony for the C2 men's canoe event at the Olympic Canoe-Kayak slalom venue of the Helliniko Sports Complex in Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games. The German Olympic team said Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, canoe slalom coach Henze has died from injuries sustained in a car crash last week in Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

ROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writer


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A canoe slalom coach from Germany died Monday after sustaining head injuries last week in a car crash in Rio de Janeiro, the country's Olympic team said.

Stefan Henze, who was 35 and won a silver medal in canoe slalom at the 2004 Athens Games, died surrounded by his family, the team said.

"We know that Stefan's own Olympic thoughts live on in many people," Henze's family said in a statement.

Henze had been in a Rio hospital since undergoing emergency surgery following the taxi accident on Friday.

"Today the sport which the whole team came to Rio for recedes into the background," Germany team leader Michael Vesper said. "Our thoughts are with Stefan's loved ones, who had the opportunity to say goodbye here."

Sports scientist Christian Kaeding was in the taxi with Henze but had only slight injuries.

Germany will commemorate Henze's death in the Olympic Village on Tuesday, and the country's flag will be flown at half-staff at all Olympic sites in Rio.

"The IOC is mourning the loss of a true Olympian," IOC President Thomas Bach said. "Our sympathy is with the family of Stefan Henze, his friends and all of the German Olympic team."

Germany's canoe slalom team posted a black and white image of Henze on its Twitter account.

"We are deeply sad," read an accompanying tweet . "Rest in peace, Stefan. You will stay in our hearts forever."

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