The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was greatly saddened to learn of the death yesterday of IOC Honorary Member Gunnar Ericsson at the age of 94.
“The thoughts of the entire Olympic Movement are with Gunnar's family and with his many friends in Swedish sports,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “I personally will never forget the great support I received from him at the beginning of my IOC membership and in particular in preparation for chairing my first Evaluation Commission. Gunnar personified the Olympic values and was a true Olympic gentleman. The IOC will always remember him with deep gratitude and great respect.”
IOC Executive Board Member Gunilla Lindberg called compatriot Ericsson her Olympic mentor: “It was a great honour and pleasure to work with him both in the Swedish NOC and internationally. Gunnar was a lifetime member of the IOC but chose to resign from the IOC in 1996 to allow for me to become a member of the IOC. Gunnar was a true promoter of the Olympic values, a true sportsman, and he spent his life promoting sports both in Sweden and abroad,” Lindberg said. “Gunnar will always be remembered as a positive, enthusiastic sports leader and for him nothing was impossible. He was a real gentleman who put athletes first. The Swedish sports movement will miss him a lot and our thoughts are with his wife Stina and his children and grandchildren.”
Ericsson joined the IOC as a Member in 1965 and became an Honorary Member in 1996. He was a member of the Executive Board from 1988 to 1992 and was a Chairman of the following Commissions: Study and Evaluation for the Preparation of the Olympic Games (member from 1984 to 1988), Coordination for the Olympic Games (Summer) (1991-1992), Enquiry for the Games of the XXVII Olympiad in 2000 (1993). He was also a member of the Finance (1967-1972), Aid IOC-NOC (1968-1971), Eligibility (1980-1988), Olympic Movement (1989-1992), and Sport and Environment (1996) Commissions.
A graduate of the Stockholm School of Economics and Royal National Defence College, Ericsson enjoyed a successful career as a businessman and politician, culminating in posts as President of the International Council of Swedish Industry (1981-1984) and Member of the Swedish Parliament (1968-1972).
Ericsson was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Swedish Football Association (1970-1974), Vice-Chairman of the Swedish National Olympic Committee and a member of numerous sports associations in Sweden. He enjoyed skiing and playing golf and tennis. He will be remembered for his great passion for sports and the work he did to further the Olympic Movement in Sweden and around the world.
The IOC expresses its deepest sympathy to Gunnar Ericsson’s family.