Hermann Kröll's death moves the Special Olympics-Family
The mourning for the passing of our longtime president Hermann Kröll moved far beyond its boarders.
CEO Mary Davis and Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International expressed their mourning but also the gratitude and appreciation in a moving letter.
It is with a heavy heart that today we say goodbye to a great man, dear friend, and tireless ally of people with intellectual disabilities everywhere. Hermann Kröll, President of Special Olympics Austria, passed away in the early morning hours of 17 September.
Many of you worked closely with President Kröll and know well the passion he had for sports, inclusion, and respect for all people. For decades, he has been a driving force behind expanding the Special Olympics World Games and making them truly international. His contributions to Special Olympics began in the 1980s, when, as a member of the state parliament and Mayor of Schladming, Austria, he spearheaded the efforts of his home country to bid for a Special Olympics World Games. His hard work resulted in the 1993 World Winter Games, the largest, most successful Winter Games in the history of our movement at that time -- and the first to be held outside of the U.S. His efforts continued through the years as he took on new challenges, including serving as President of Special Olympics Austria, and culminated as he succeeded in bringing the World Winter Games back to Austria for a rare encore in 2017.
Our Games in March will serve as a fitting and touching tribute to this amazing man. Read more about his life and accomplishments for Special Olympics here. We also invite you to share your tribute to Mayor Kröll on our website here. Or use the attached graphics on social media or your Program web site to create a tribute.
Our thoughts are with all the people he touched in Austria and beyond, and with his wife, Gerti and his family. He brought joy to so many people and he will be sadly missed. While our hearts are heavy, we must come together and live the World Games motto and continue to create a Heartbeat for the World for the legacy of Hermann Kröll.
Rest in peace.
Mary Davis Tim Shriver