German Olympic Coach Dies After Rio Accident

Stefan Henze was injured in car crash last week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 16, 2016 1:30 AM CDT
German Olympic Coach Dies After Rio Accident
In this Aug. 19, 2004, photo, Germany's Marcus Becker, left, and Stefan Henze compete at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.   (Lefteris Pitarakis)

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 says. The team says Stefan Henze, who was 35 and won a silver medal in canoe slalom at the 2004 Athens Games, died surrounded by his family, the AP reports. "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." 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. (More 2016 Olympics stories.)

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