31 Dec 2020
It is with great sadness that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has learnt of the death of Walther Tröger, IOC Honorary Member, at the age of 91.
In addition to his invaluable contribution to the Olympic Movement internationally, Mr Tröger’s remarkable career as a sports administrator was marked by his successful commitment to shaping sport in Germany for several decades. Holding a degree in law from the University of Erlangen, he started in 1953 as Secretary General of the German Student Sports Association, before joining the German Sports Confederation (1961-1970) and the National Olympic Committee (NOC), where he served as Secretary General between 1970 and 1992, and as President for 10 years until 2002.
During those years, Mr Tröger also served as 1st Vice-President of the German Basketball Federation (1976-2006) and as a member of the FIBA Sports Commission (1964-1994). He was also a member of the Executive Board, then Deputy Chairman of the German Sports Aid Foundation (1992-2002) and Chairman of the German Sports and Olympic Museum and of the Board of Directors of the Willi Daume Foundation.
Mr Tröger’s achievements were not limited to Germany alone. An avid sports fan – he practised handball, athletics, basketball, tennis and skiing – he served as IOC Sports Director between 1983 and 1990, before becoming an IOC Member in 1989 and an Honorary Member in 2010.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Walther Tröger made a great contribution to the IOC, first as its Sports Director, then as a Member and lately as an Honorary Member. I got to know him as a person with a great passion for sport and an immense knowledge about the Olympic Movement already when we met for the first time in the 1970s, when he was Secretary General of the NOC and I was an athlete. In all his activities over the many years, Walther Tröger worked tirelessly in the administration of sport and made a major impact on the development of German and international sport.”
Mr Tröger’s career was punctuated by 27 editions of the Olympic Games as a sports official. He was notably Chef de Mission at the Olympic Winter Games eight times between 1976 and 2002. During the Olympic Games Munich 1972, his role as Mayor of the Olympic Village led him to be involved in the negotiations with the terrorist group that took Israeli athletes hostage.
Throughout his IOC membership, he was involved in numerous commissions, such as the Sport for all Commission, of which he was successively Director, Chairman and an honorary member; the Olympic Programme Commission (1971-1994); and the Olympic Solidarity Commission (1985-1989).
He also played a part in the success of several Olympic Games as a member of the Coordination Commission for the XVIII Olympic Winter Games in Nagano in 1998 (1992-1998), the Coordination Commission for the XIX Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 (1996-2002), and the Evaluation Commission for the XX Olympic Winter Games in 2006 (1998-1999). Since 2015 he had been an Honorary Member of the Sport and Active Society Commission.
Mr Tröger received a number of distinctions during the course of his career. He received in particular the Commander’s Cross of the German Order of Merit, the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, and the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the French Republic. In 2009, he was also awarded the Olympic Order, the Olympic Movement’s highest distinction.
The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Walther Tröger’s family. As a mark of respect for him, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at the IOC Headquarters for three days.
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