Former USOC chief dies

April 16, 2003 at 4:00 PM
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COLORADO SPRINGS, April 16 (UPI) -- Former United States Olympic Committee President Robert Helmick has passed away after suffering cardiac failure at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

When he dies Monday, he was 66.

Helmick dedicated more than 30 years of volunteer service in support of athletes at every level of sport. He served as President of the USOC from 1985-91, and was a USOC Vice President from 1981-84.

He also was Chairman of U.S. Water Polo from 1969-72, and Team Manager for the U.S. Water Polo Team at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, and was a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee from 1979-84.

Helmick served as President of the Amateur Athletic Union from 1978-80, and was an advocate of the Amateur Sports Act, which was passed by Congress in 1978 and granted the USOC its charter.

"The United States Olympic Committee family is stunned and saddened by the sudden passing of Bob Helmick," said USOC Acting President Bill Martin. "He will be remembered as a man of tremendous vision who dedicated his long service to the USOC and the International Olympic Committee in support of athletes. Bob Helmick will be missed, and the USOC family extends its heartfelt condolences to his family."

"Over more than three decades, Bob Helmick worked tirelessly to improve the lives of American athletes and to increase support for our National Governing Bodies," said former USOC President Bill Hybl. "His appointment in 1988 of the Olympic Overview Commission, chaired by George Steinbrenner, produced a document a year later that changed the way in which the USOC supported American athletes, and paved the way for the resounding success enjoyed by U.S. Olympic Teams in Atlanta, Nagano, Sydney, and Salt Lake City."

He is survived by his wife, Georgia, sons John and Rob, and daughters Stephanie Ormsby and Suzanne Book.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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