The coach of Germany's Olympic canoe slalom team has died from head injuries in Rio de Janeiro after his taxi crashed into a concrete barrier last week on Friday (12 August). According to reports from Brazil, 35-year-old Stefan Henze was returning to the athletes' village when the vehicle crashed head on with the barrier.
Henze, who represented Germany and won a silver medal for the canoe slalom C2 at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, was travelling with Cristian Katini, a sports scientist, at the time of the collision.
Henze was taken to a hospital for emergency brain surgery following the crash with his condition described as "life threatening", but died of his injuries on Monday (15 August). Katini was reportedly not harmed in the crash reports the BBC.
The German Olympic Committee (DOSB) said Henze had died of his injuries in the presence of his family. In a statement on its website, they said: "The coach of the German canoe slalom team at the Olympic Games succumbed to his head injuries in the presence of his family."
DOSB president Alfons Hormann added that his death was a "terrible loss", he said: "We are very sad today. Words cannot describe approximately what we feel in the Olympic team after this terrible loss."
On Tuesday 16 August, German flags will be flown at half-mast at Olympic sites in honour of Henze. The German delegation will also hold a service for Henze in the athletes' village on the same day. Henze's family released a statement saying: "We know Stefan's own Olympic thoughts live on in a lot of people."
"Today the sport for which our whole team came to Rio de Janiero is at the back of our minds," said chef de mission Michael Vesper, according to the Mirror. "Our thoughts are with Stefan Henze's relatives who had the possibility to say goodbye here."
An International Olympic Committee (IOC) statement said: "The IOC mourns the death of a true Olympian."