FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson Unexpectedly Passes Away

By Community | June 20, 2013

FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson has unexpectedly passed away at the age of 50.

Mr Rafnsson died during a visit to Geneva, where he had been attending Tuesday’s official opening of FIBA’s new headquarters.

He was President of the National Olympic Association of Iceland and was elected to the Presidency of FIBA Europe in 2010.

Mr Rafnsson was a former player and won the Icelandic Championship in 1988 as part of the Haukar team.

His colleagues at FIBA paid tribute.

“It is with great sadness that we heard of Olaf’s passing. On behalf of FIBA and of the basketball community as a whole, we want to offer our condolences to his family and loved ones,” said FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann.

“He did a lot of good for sports – in particular for basketball – over the course of his life.

“He had success as a basketball player in his native Iceland and made a smooth transition into sports administration, where he served as President of the country’s national Olympic association.

“After being elected President of FIBA Europe in 2010, he played a major role in the triumph that was EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania.

“He will be sorely missed.”

FIBA President Yvan Mainini joined Mr Baumann in paying homage to Mr Rafnsson.

“Olaf was very much liked and respected by his colleagues and peers in the world of basketball and beyond,” he said.

“While Iceland is a cold place, Olaf was very much a warm person,” he pointed out, recalling a visit to Mr Rafnsson in Iceland.

“It is a very sad time for the basketball community but the best way possible to remember and honour Olaf is to carry on his work in Europe and do so all together, united.

“At this moment in time, our thoughts are with Olaf’s family.”