Olympic Coach Who Died After Car Crash in Rio Has Saved Four Lives Through Organ Donations
The former Olympian and coach left behind more than just an athletic legacy after his tragic death
“Heart, liver and both kidneys have been successfully transplanted. Thus he has saved four lives,” a spokesperson from the Brazilian Health ministry told the German newspaper Die Welt.
Henze, 35, was injured last Friday morning while riding “back to the Olympic Village in a taxi when the car struck a concrete barrier head on,” according to the Independent. A second passenger in the car was also hospitalized with minor injuries but released, according to the BBC.
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In a statement, Henze’s family said the coach – and former Olympian and silver medalist – would leave a lasting legacy behind.
“We know that Stefan’s own Olympic thoughts live on in many people,” the family said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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Before working as a coach at the Rio Games, Henze took home the silver medal in canoe slalom doubles at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Germany’s Rio canoe slalom team took to Twitter last week to remember their beloved coach.
“Rest in peace, Stefan,” the team wrote, “you remain forever in our hearts.”