Death of IOC Honorary Member Fernando F. Lima Bello

Fernando F. Lima Bello

04 Jun 2021

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was greatly saddened to learn of the death of IOC Honorary Member Fernando F. Lima Bello, at the age of 89.

Mr Lima Bello was a world champion sailor (Snipe) in 1953 and competed at two Olympic Games, Mexico City 1968 and Munich 1972 (Dragon). He was later a member of the International Sailing Federation (now World Sailing) and President of the Olympic Committee of Portugal.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “I got to know Fernando when he was part of the Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games Athens 2004.  He was not only a very good friend but someone who always knew every last detail of the entire dossier.  He was someone who worked tirelessly to ensure the best conditions for the athletes and who always strove to promote the Olympic values.”

The Portuguese sailor also played football and tennis, and enjoyed a successful professional career in civil engineering, taking up positions such as Director General of a road construction company; member of the Registration Committee for Public Works Contractors; Director of the Regional Association of Contractors and Constructors; and Director of the Construction Department at the Ministry of Employment.

His contribution to sailing was equally extensive, both as a sportsperson and as an administrator. His sporting achievements also included a second place at the European Championships (Star) and National Championships in Star, Dragon and Sharpie 12m². On the administration side, he was a sailing inspector for the Portuguese Youth Organisation, a Chairman of the Jury of the World Sailing Championships (Finn, 420, Cadet) and Chairman of the Portuguese Sailing Federation Technical Committee – eventually becoming President of the National Federation.

Mr Lima Bello’s involvement with the Olympic Movement in Portugal started in 1975 with his appointment as a member of the National Olympic Committee (NOC). He later joined the NOC’s Executive Board from 1977 to 1980, when he attended the Games of the XXII Olympiad Moscow 1980 as Chef de Mission for the Portuguese team.

One year later, he was elected President of the Olympic Committee of Portugal, a position he held until 1989, the year of his election as an IOC Member. At national level, Mr Lima Bello was also a member of the Higher Sports Council and the Sports Council for High Level Competition.

During his 21-year tenure at the IOC, he was a member of Commissions with mostly a strong focus on the cultural and educational aspects of the Olympic Movement: Cultural (1985-1999), International Olympic Academy and Olympic Education (1990-1999), Eligibility (1992-1993), Evaluation for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in 2004 (1996), and Culture and Olympic Education (2000-2010). He had been an IOC Honorary Member since 2010.

The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Fernando F. Lima Bello’s family. As a mark of respect, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at Olympic House.


The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit, civil, non-governmental, international organisation made up of volunteers which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.4 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.


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