ICF Mourns Passing of Otto Bonn, Tireless Servant of Canoeing


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Otto Bonn, who devoted more than half his life to his beloved sport of canoeing, including almost 50 years working for the International Canoe Federation, has died at the age of 93.

Mr. Bonn began his love affair with canoeing as a kayak paddler on the Hungarian national team, before taking on a variety of roles with the Hungarian sport organization.

He was elected as an executive member of the ICF in 1954, and from 1970 until 1988 he served as an ICF vice president. He took on the role as ICF secretary general in 1988 until his retirement in 2000.

He was made an ICF Honorary Member in recognition of his longtime association with canoeing.

Otto Bonn was highly regarded by not only everyone in the canoeing family, but by the wider sporting and Olympic community. He had a reputation as a humble and understanding man who worked hard in every role he took on.

He received an IOC Order of Merit from the then president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, in Budapest in 1995 and a similar award from the Hungarian National Olympic Committee.

Mr. Bonn attended every Olympics since 1952 and spoke five languages. He was an important player in the history of canoeing and will be sorely missed by all in the community.

The ICF sends its condolences to Mr. Bonn’s family.


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