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Olympic family mourns death of Vladimir Cernusak, Honorary IOC member

Vladimir Cernusak was the founding President of the Slovak Olympic Committee. (Photo: IOC)

LAUSANNE, January 16, 2018 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is greatly saddened to learn of the death of IOC Honorary Member Vladimir Cernusak, at the age of 96.

During his long career in the sports movement, Professor Vladimir Cernusak played an influential role both nationally and internationally, successfully leading the integration of the newly formed Slovak sports organisations into the Olympic Movement after the Czechoslovak separation in 1993.

Founding President of the Slovak Olympic Committee (1992-1999), then Honorary President (1999-2018), Cernusak also served the Olympic Movement as the first IOC Member for Slovakia (1981-2001), and as an Honorary Member after 2002. Over the duration of his membership, he put his talents to work for the Olympic Programme Commission (winter) (1983-1994) and the Press Commission (1996-2001).

President Bach said today, “Personally, I have lost a great friend and someone who always gave me good advice. He was a gentleman and helped me a lot to find my way around the Olympic Movement. In educational matters, he was a role model who championed the values of Olympic education and always set a great example to the entire Olympic Movement.”

A teacher, coach and scientist, Cernusak devoted his life to sport and education: a university instructor in education (1948-1968); a professor in the Physical Education and Sport Faculty of Comenius University (1968-1990); and Director of the research institute of the Comenius University Physical Education and Sport Faculty (1966-1970), Cernusak enriched sport by bringing a new perspective to the preparation of talented young athletes and the introduction of a sports class system.

Cernusak was also actively involved in sports administration. As a senior official in the Czechoslovakian Physical Education Association (1946-1992); President of the Slovak Central Committee of the Czechoslovakian Physical Education Association (1969-1983); and Vice-President of the Czechoslovakian Olympic Committee (1969-1992), he served as Chef de Mission for the Czechoslovak team at the Olympic Winter Games Sapporo 1972, where Ondrej Nepela became the first athlete ever to win a gold medal for his country.

A true sports fan, Professor Cernusak also made his contribution to numerous publications in the fields of swimming, touring and sports training.

The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Professor Cernusak’s family.

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