Svein Arne Hansen remembered

President Svein Arne Hansen touched many lives and will be sadly missed by his many friends in the world of athletics and beyond.

This page contains some of the many messages of condolences received and seen by European Athletics.

Please feel free to add your tribute below


Motoi Oyama, President and CEO, ASICS Corporation


I would like to express, on behalf of ASICS our condolences on the loss of your president Svein Arne Hansen. Many of us here met Svein personally, his passion and love for athletics will be sorely missed amongst us all. 


Again, we extend our deepest sympathies to the athletics family and his family during this period of mourning.



Denis Masseglia, President, CNOSF (French Olympic Committee)


It is with great sadness that my colleagues of the CNOSF and I learned of the death of Mr Svein Arne Hansen on Saturday the 20th of June. 


He was a man of passion deeply attached to the values of sport, which he promoted for years as President of the Norwegian Athletics Federation, and then as President of European Athletics. 

He will be remembered as a man of conviction and we express our condolences to his colleagues and his family.


Benjamin Cohen, Director General, International Testing Agency


As a member of the European Athletics Anti-Doping Commission, I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of your President, Mr Svein Arne Hansen. 

On behalf of all the ITA team, I would like to express our most sincere condolences. His commitment to sport knew no bounds and he will be truly missed by the sport movement. 


All our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones.




Marton Gyulai, European Athletics Council Member

I knew it would come, it was inevitable. We all knew it. Yet we continued to believe  that the #SeniorViking would prevail once again and come back to tell some jokes, cheer up everyone, put a smile on faces, be one of the best leaders in the world of sport and more importantly...one of the best friends I've had as well.


Svein Arne walked up to me on a sunny Friday afternoon in October 2009 in the Kempinski Hotel in Budapest during the European Athletics Convention, right after I gave the welcome speech for the IAAF luncheon. He grabbed my right forearm, looked me in the eye and said: "I want you to work for me young Gyulai, I want you on my council!"


I was bold and young enough to remind him: "What do you mean? you are not the President"


"But I will be!" he said...the rest is history...

Six years later we did end up on the same European Athletics Council. eing late to our first meeting in Oslo was the first of thousands of lessons he taught me and did every single one with a bit of humour and laughter. But don't be mistaken! Behind all the laughter there was a man who was as tough and serious as anyone I have ever known, demanding work to be done on time and perfectly right.


Remember the story about being committed he told in Bled? He said he does not want anyone to be "involved" in athletics under his leadership. He wants people to be "committed". The difference was he said, like the breakfast plate of ham and eggs. The chicken is involved.....but the pig is committed!


Svein was unique in more ways than one. If you knew him, you understand. If you did not, you missed out on one of the greatest people I ever knew. For those of us who stay behind, it is probably tougher but I am convinced that you mentored enough followers over the decades Svein Arne, who will follow the path you set out and will continue to deliver your vision and aim to reach your goals.


Please save us a seat by your side in that heavenly athletics stadium.




Libor Varhaník, Tomáš  Janků, Czech Athletic Federation


It is with deepest sorrow that we have learnt of the death of the President of the European Athletics Mr. Svein Arne Hansen. 


It is a great loss not only for the European Athletics but also for the whole athletic word. We will always remember his passion, his tremendous contribution to our sport and his unique sense of humour. We will all miss his athletic experience, his ability to lead and motivate people. 


Someone so special can never be forgotten. Our deepest condolences to all his family


May his soul rest in peace.



Dr Hassan Moustafa, President, International Handball Federation


It is with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen. 


On behalf of the International Handball Federation and the entire handball community, I would like to convey my sincerest condolences to you, European Athletics and the Hansen family. My deepest sympathies are with you all and I wish everyone peace and strength during this difficult time.


Spyros Capralos, President, Hellenic Olympic Committee, IOC Member


The Hellenic Olympic Committee and I personally wish to express our deepest condolences for Svein Arne Hansen’s passing. 


A great personality in the world of Sport and a truly righteous man, Svein Arne offered a great deal to the Athletics family. 


Our thoughts and sympathy are with you and with Svein Arne’s family and friends. 

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Yvette McKoy

May you find comfort and healing in the love of those who remember with you this extraordinary man Svein Arne Hansen.


He will be deeply missed by many, since he impacted the whole world. #neverforgotten #foreverinourhearts #RIP


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Sonia O’Sullivan, Athletics Ireland

Svein will be greatly missed, always a friendly welcome all over the world the most engaging European athletics president ever.


Svein treated everyone like a personal friend and made the world of athletics a more friendly place for all European athletes. A great supporter of Irish Athletics and European Cross Country scheduled for Dublin this year.


Robert Emmiyan, President, Armenian Athletics Federation


It is with a profound grief and regret that we learned of the passing of Svein Arne Hansen this past June 20th. 


Svein was an extraordinary personality in the athletics community. As a former President of the Norwegian Athletics Federation, meeting director of the iconic Bislett Games and of course President of European Athletics, he showed to the world his outstanding leadership in sports. 


He was recognised for his achievements at the service of Athletics, transforming both its structure and practice and elevating its accessibility and exposure internationally. His action not only leave behind an exemplary legacy for athletics, but also promote the role of sport in society. 


We sends our heartfelt thoughts and best wishes to his family, friends, colleagues and the entire Athletics Family.

Nadya But-Husaim, Council Member European Athletics; Vice President, Belarus Athletic Federation


I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of Svein Arne Hansen. He was a true leader in the world of sports, a true fan of athletics and his field. He always shared his ideas, helped people, shared his experience, was a man with a big heart. Athletics lost a great man. Deepest condolences to his family and friends R.I.P



Anna Kirnova, Council Member European Athletics; International Affairs, Slovak Athletic Federation


It is hard to find the words of consolation and to accept sad news of final destination, the loss of such great personality as Svein Arne was for the athletics community. I met him for the first time in 80s at famous Bratislava PTS meeting where I was a volunteer. And then many times at national and international events. 


He will stay for ever in my mind and heart as charismatic, deserving respect, friendly leader with visions and innovative ideas, encouraging people to accept challenges. 


I & the Slovak Athletic Federation family pay tribute for Svein Arne & express our deepest condolence to his family. 


Dear Svein Arne, we will miss you a lot.




Ricky Simms

PACE Sports Management


We would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Svein Arne Hansen and the Bislett Games family on his death. From the Athletes and Management at PACE Sports Management.



Franco Arese, European Athletics Council Member, Italian Athletic Federation


I send you my deep condolences for President Svein Hansen’ s loss.


Pls send them to his family and to whole European Federation from myside.



Mala Sakonhninhom, Laos


My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. May God give you the peace that you seek. My condolences. 



Athletic Federation of Turkmenistan

We would like to express to the Family of Mr. Svein Arne Hansen, the European Athletics and World Athletics Family our deep feelings about the death of Mr. Svein Arne Hansen.

His dedication to his work earned him the respect and love of all who knew him. Please accept our sincere condolences

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Cherry Alexander, British Athletics


My dearest friend Svein. We first met in the early 80s. I am glad I got to tell you a number of times how much you inspired me over the years. Your charismatic leadership was inspirational, the time you afforded people was generous and kind and above all, your friendship was priceless.


We had some good times, like the time you were best man for Andy Norman, we certainly laughed that day. Your enthusiasm and energy taking the sport from amateur to professional is legendary and for the support you gave to British athletes, we are forever grateful. Sleep well my special Viking friend and I will never forget the nickname you gave me... 'Cake'! (Cherry on the Cake) . Will never forget you Svein. xxx




Belarus Athletic Federation


As we all remember President Svein Arne Hansen was always in a good mood, always positive, always cheering up and supporting the athletes. Before the pandemic outbreak, Svein Arne fortunately was able to make his way to Minsk one last time to support young athletes at the International U20 Match.


President Hansen was a true standard of what an athletics activist should be like. Belarus Athletic Federation, its staff, members, and all those in Belarus who had the honor to meet and know Svein Arne mourn his passing. We want to thank him one more time for all the support for BAF over the years. We will always cherish the moments Svein Arne shared with Belarusian athletics family.


Our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. May he Rest In Peace.

Victor Martinze Julia, Federation Athletic de Andorra

On behalf of the entire Andorra athletic family, we want to show our support and condolences to all European athletics, friends and family for the recent loss of the President.


Athletics Association of the Algarve


The Athletics Association of the Algarve hereby sends condolences for the death of Mr. President Svein Arne Hansen.


Best regards to all European Athletics Team.


Henryk Olszewski, President, Polish Athletic Association 


Polish Athletic Association is deeply saddened by the news of Arne Hansen passing. Words cannot express our sorrow. I would like to express my sincere condolences, He will live on in our memories forever.


Eric van der Burg

President, Royal Dutch Athletics Federation


We have received the sad news of the passing away of Sven Arne Hansen. We are saddened losing an innovator in our sport as well an approachable and open minded president. 


On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Royal Dutch Athletics Federation I send you our deepest condolences to his family and to all our colleagues in the office of Lausanne.




Stéphanie Empain, Fédération Luxembourgeoise d'athlétisme

It is with deep sadness that we received the news of the passing of Svein Arne Hansen. Only last year did he travel to Luxembourg where I got to meet him and experienced his huge enthusiasm and his eagerness to work for our sport. I appreciated his words of encouragement and his willingsness to see more young people and women taking more responsibility in the world of athletics. He was very keen on supporting small federations as well. His professionalism and enthusiasm will be greatly missed. Our condolences go out to his family and friends, as well as to all his work colleagues. R.I.P. Svein Arne.






Frank Carreras, President: Gibraltar Athletics and President: Athletic Association of the Small States of Europe


It is still difficult to come to terms with the fact that Svein Arne is no longer with us and that he will not be there to lead our sport into the future. Svien was a true athletics leader and was an honest man with strong moral principles and with a great vision on how our sport should develop. He had great qualities as a leader and was determined to make our sport great once again. Above all of this he was a true friend of those who loved the sport of athletics and a great friend and supporter of the smaller federations. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him and worked with him and my condolences go to his family and friends. Svien, you will be terribly missed by all of us, rest in peace and thank you for the many years of friendship. Until we meet again.



Jochen Schweitzer, DLV


To meet Svein Arne was always a pleasure. Several times a year we met on several occasions he welcomed me with a smile and bis slogan "Jochen ist immer da!". We had a lot of discussions about our sport and its future. I will deeply miss him! Our sport will miss him.



Jose Praia, Inter Sport Clube

Dear Svein, Thank you for all your support during my professional life of meet organiser in Moscow as well as manager during 25 years, especially when dealing for Bislett Games. You always found a balance between all T&F agents and other institutions, making everybody partners. You had a vision for athletics. Your friends will follow it trying to realise your goals. So, now it's our time to work forward to expand your vision. Rest in peace!



Dionisi Enrico, Athlete Representative

The athletic family has lost one member among the best ever, Sven Arne Hansen, for so many years chief of Bislett Games. I am and i was proud to be his friend. I have also some memories where he showed in front of everybody the meaning of friendship. As President of EAA his main goal was to take out by athletics the athletes using drugs. R.I.P, Sven and I am sure that from somewhere you will continue this fight. Ciao my friend



Larry Eder, runblogrun.com

Imet Svein Arne Hansen in 2013 at a media event in Goteborg. He was interested in what we had to say. It is one of my big take aways from Svein. He got it. He loved what he did. I will keep his family and friends in my thoughts and prayers.



Richard Anner, Luxembourg Athletics Federation

I was really shocked about the news. I will remember Svein Arne as a person who stood for athletics and who gave me a great hand in doing what I love to do for athletics. Great man, many great times with him. He was a strategist wanting the change and development of our sport we love. My deepest thoughts go to his family and all that remains to say is RIP Svein Arne.




Czeslaw Zapala Athletes Representative

Sven was a very good and obliging men ! Always helped ! He has supported Polish athletes, trainers and managers many times and years !!! I was proud that I could commune with him many times. Last time in Warsaw (15th November, 2019 ) during the 100 Years Polish Athletic Federation Gala. I will miss him !!!




Frank Walley, President Cork City Sports Committee


Sincerest and Deepest sympathy to Family and Friends of Svein.

Michael Reinsch, Athletics and Olympics Journalist

You left more than one stamp on this world. One of the friendliest persons I met in sports. Your absence will be felt.



Schmit Marie Paule, Referee Luxembourg


Mes très sincères condoléances a sa famille. Best reformer since years

Thomas Schneiders

Laz Mönchengladbach

Mein herzliches Beileid



Mª Romana De Lillo, Soul Runners

Thanks for everything, Mr. President!

Steve Taylor, Manx Harriers Isle of Man

Although we never met I am well aware of the positive impact you have made on so many peoples lives. Rest in peace



Massimo Magnani

Athletics lost a very special person

Stein Rognlien

Du var en fantastisk flott fyr Svein Arne. Friidrettsstevner vil ikke lenger være det samme uten ditt alltid positive nærvær.

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Luigi D'Onofrio, Rome Golden Gala


Ciao, Svein Arne. It was a pleasure to meet you and share years of exciting team work.



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Shaun Gallagher, World Athletics/European Race Walk Judge

Had the pleasure to have met Svein at European events including Galve which was the last time. Always had time to stop and speak to people from all countries and always had kind words to say. He is a great loss to our sport and condolences to his family and close friends worldwide.



Jónas Egilsson, FRI, AASSE and European Athletics

It was an honour to work with Svein Arne and to know him. I worked with him on several projects for over a decade within the Nordic athletic community as well as on European stage. His energy and vivacity for athletics was unique and encouraged us all. The Athletic Federations of Small States of Europe will be grateful to him for helping to make the European Championships of Small States possible and for his recognition of their contribution. His contribution to the sport will not be easily matched and we miss him dearly.



Luis Saladie, World Athletics

Dear Svein, We never finished our last conversation because you were always thinking in a better scenario for our sport. I'll remember you as an passionate men who gave to his passion his entire life. I'm sure that you now are already started to organise a new athletics competition with your friend Maurie. I'm sure that it will be again a great success. We'll miss you forever.


Big hug.



Karen Forbes, British Athletics

Your drive and passion changed the sport. Athletes, Coaches, Administrators all over the world will have felt the impact of your contributions. You have left a legacy that your family can be proud of. Your purpose on earth fulfilled.


Thank you and Sleep well!



Florian Weber, World Athletics

Svein was a source of Inspiration, his passion for the sport a driving force for everyone around him. His achievements for the sport won‘t be forgotten. My condolences to his family.


We will miss you. RIP

Andy Houtkamp, Nos

A very nice person have left us. I Will never forget the strawberry party.


Thank you. RIP



Hamish Adams, CEO, Athletics Ireland


On behalf of all the members of Athletics Ireland we wish to extend our deepest sympathies to all in European Athletics on the passing of Svein Arne.


His passing is a great loss to our sport and we will all miss his unique humour and welcoming character.



Dr Shane Lawrence, Swedish Athletics

A very great ambassador for European athletics.



Mel Watman, Athletics International

Svein Arne made such a massive contribution to our sport and will always be remembered with admiration and affection.






Kevin Taylor, www.athleticsresults.com

You will be missed but the amazing legacy you have created will live on

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Jack Cohen, Israel Athletics

Great friend and big loss to our sport. He was the one who started to lead change more to hen 5 years ago. His contributions is invaluable. We will remember you for ever.



Dimakos Panagiotis, European Athletics Council Member

Rest in peace President.



Sonja Spendelhofer, Austrian Athletics


My president, thanks for all the support and your friendship. Rest in peace! Sonja




Madalin Badea, International Oderzo U20 Road Race Match

He was a mentor for me and I have always been in touch since we met, in 2017, by encouraging me in all my athletic projects. He was the person who knew you could ask for help and they offered it, but at each competition I shared the moments with him. It remains in my memory as one of my mentors and friends in this sport.



Ivana Brkljačić, Zagreb Hanžeković Memorial

I am deeply saddened by the passing of European Athletics President and one of the symbols of athletics in Europe and the rest of the world Svein Arne Hansen. Svein loved athletics immensely and he passed that love onto all of us in his irresistible way. He was a great inspiration for the whole athletics family and this is why his passing is an immeasurable loss for our whole sport. All of us will always gladly remember the moments spent with him and continue working in athletics with the same passion as he did. 



Wilfried Meert, President Memorial Van Damme

Hansenson, I used to call him. Or Viking. Two nicknames that made him laugh. 40 years we have known each other. 40 years of friendship, full of unforgettable moments. I still can’t believe I will never see or hear him again. Our weekly calls. Brainstorming about our beloved sport. But also planning the relaxing moments and times. Winter trips to Thailand. Dinners “at the Serb” with Marc and his other Belgian friends.


We were both shocked and sad when our common friend Maurie Plant had left us in January. Now, Svein Arne has gone too, leaving me heart broken... Hopefully he and Maurie have found each other already somewhere up there. I miss you, my dear Viking friend. I miss you every day a little more. Rest in peace.


Thank you for all these superb souvenirs that are my only consolation now.



Organising Commitee, Hypomeeting Götzis

Svein Arne was a good friend of our combined events meeting. Amongst others, he was always interested to develop our sport further and to discuss innovative changes together with other experts.


Our deepest condolences and thoughts go to his family – we will never forget Svein Arne!



Theo Hoex, President Royal Dutch Athletics (2009-2018)

I am so sorry Svein Arne has passed away. It is a drama for his family as well as for the European Athletics family. I met Svein Arne for the first time in Bergen just after my election as president of Dutch Athletics. He was a very friendly host and gide for me by given ( with a lot of humor !) a clear introduction in the wonderfull world of European atletics.


That was the fundament for good relationship and understanding for years. Even after 2018 we had friendly talks so as after his re-election as EEA-president. In particular I will remember the bid for the European Championships 2016 in Amsterdam and the trust we got from the council. It was my privilege to host him during the Championships, Thanks to Svein Arne for the personal contacts, the conversations, the practical jokes and last but not least for all energy and efforts he gave to athletics. I will remember him because of his inspirational and positive leadership.



Dave Moorcroft, Former athlete, CEO UK Athletics

It was so sad to hear the news that Svein had passed away. What a great character he was! There was no bigger smile than his when an athlete broke a World record at his beloved Bislett stadium. He celebrated with those athletes, not just at that moment in time, but on every occasion he met them afterwards.


Svein was one of those people who lit up a room when he entered it. His enthusiasm was infectious and his commitment to athletics and athletes was total. He will be sadly missed, but never forgotten and his massive influence on our sport will live on for many, many years.




Jean Gracia, European Athletics Council & Paris 2020

I met Svein Arne in the early 2000s when I was elected as a member of the European Athletics Development Commission. He became Vice-President and Chair of the Commission and we shared many ideas to help the Member Federations to develop Athletics in their countries.


Between 2011 and 2014 we did not meet much until the two of us started a campaign for the election of the European Athletics President in April 2015 in Bled. He became President of European Athletics and I was elected Vice-President.


We continued to work together  taking care of the Development of the Member Federations that Svein Arne had entrusted to me. During this period we realised that we had another common passion: the Philately!


Svein Arne was a great leader who never took himself seriously and who joked very often but who also knew how to develop our sport in a very conservative environment.


Dear Svein Arne, thank you for all that you have done. We will never forget you. Rest in peace.



Freyr Ólafsson

Icelandic Athletics Federation


What a charasmatic and energetic leader Svein Arne Hansen was. He welcomed me with all his energy and enthusiasm for the sport when I came into the family in 2016. He made sure that I and the Icelandic federation had all of his support, but as a great leader made also sure that we understood that we should move forward, to actively improve athletics in Iceland and in the whole continent.


Svein Arne was a strong supporter of us small nations, but as mentioned above, for the good of the sport and for the whole. Svein Arne had the experience, the know how and the drive needed to lead change for our sport for the better.


We must all do our best to honor him by holding the Athletics torch high, to make sure we get Athletics to every home and on every phone in the continent! The picture is one of many occasions where Svein Arne pushed us leaders forward, for the good of the sport.




Michael Johnson



Sad to hear of the passing of Svein Arne Hansen. I competed many times in Oslo. He was always a pleasure to work with. RIP.



Greg Allen



Rarely have I felt so sad at the passing of someone I barely knew but my interactions with the late Svein Arne Hansen over the years helped keep alive my faith in the sport. The most approachable senior figure in athletics or any sport I’ve known. Taken way too early. RIP Svein.



Eamonn Coghlan



Sadden to learn of the passing Svein @SvenPres.


Great man, the Athlete’s Man.


RIP my friend.



Pierce O'Callaghan



A devastating day for athletics with the news that European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen is no longer with us.


A man full of integrity who has made a huge contribution to the sport & was so full of fun & life in March has now gone to his final resting place. RIP



Ray A. Scicluna,

General Secretary,

Malta Amateur Athletic Association

The Malta Amateur Athletics Association is deeply saddened for the loss of the President of European Athletics Svein Arne Hansen.


Undoubtedly, Mr Hansen enjoyed great following all over Europe but I can assure you, there was a special and mutual respect here in Malta. He visited us more than once and I had the opportunity among several others to meet him in 2018. He has really helped our small nation to take part in International events and for this we shall remain grateful forever.


Athletics Malta will soon return to competition at the track and field events. We are committed to pay homage to Mr Svein Arne Hansen and we will stop the meet for 1 minute as a tribute.


May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. My most sincere condolences.



Kostas Panagopoulos, President
Vasileios Sevastis, General Secretary, SEGAS

The Hellenic Athletics Federation - SEGAS - expresses its deepest condolences for the loss of our President.

His vision and goals will not be forgotten and we will all work joining forces to the benefit of our sport.


Please convey our thoughts to his family.


May he rest in peace. 

Majed Basonbul, 

General Secretary

Saudi Arabian Athletics Federation

I am falling short of words to express my deep sorrow on demise of the European Athletics President Mr. Svein Arne HANSEN, who passed away in Olso, Norway on Saturday 20th June 2020. I extend my sincere condolence to his family & the people of the world and European nation will always remember him.


In these difficult times, I am with his family. I pray with my heart from Almighty to grant his soul to rest in peace and give all the strength & patience to his family and his loved ones.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, VisitScotland

We were incredibly sad to hear of the passing of President Svein Arne Hansen over the weekend.  Svein was an inspirational leader with a passion for athletics. His death will be a true loss for the sport.


We always thought of Svein as a great friend to Scotland and worked with him on a number of projects, most recently the European Championships 2018 and of course the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow in 2019. His leadership across both of these projects was undoubtedly key to their success.

He was a big personality and my staff who worked with him expressed how he always made time to chat and get to know them. This must be an incredibly difficult time for Svein's family and all at European Athletics and we send our condolences to you all.



Stanislav Pozdnyakov, President, Russian Olympic Committee

It was with deep regret that we learned of the death of Mr. Svein Arne Hansen, President of European Athletics. His high professional and human qualities have won the well-deserved respect of his colleagues, and years-long activity for the benefit of the development of European and world athletics have earned him the recognition from the entire Olympic family.

He was a sincere and true supporter of the Olympic movement with an objective approach to solving even the most difficult problems and outstanding communication skills. No doubt that his contribution to the development of sport will play an important role for future generations.

On behalf of the Russian Olympic Committee, the entire Russian Olympic community and on my own behalf, allow me to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Svein Arne Hansen, the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and European Athletics on this great loss.



Grace Jackson, Olympian/Sports administrator in Jamaica & the Caribbean

 I'm really shocked to get the news that my Friend Svein Arne has left us, I feel very very sad about this. His presence along with other Meeting Directors at my Wedding made it extra special. He was such a motivator and shared ideas of doing things differently. His passion for track & Field was magnetic, and he did all he could to promote and engage the sport.


We will all miss his big smile, and i will miss ending him congratulatory emails and messages on Facebook. His 3 scores and 14 was well spent and his infectious lifestyle must live on. My sincere condolences to his wife and children, the other family that our sport shared. Rest in eternal peace Svien Arne and we will continue to feel your angelic presence.



David Barnett, Track & Field Tours

From assisting with fans attending the Bislett Games Games in the 1980s for so many years and most recently in his EAA roles Svein was always so helpful. I first met him at one of the famous pre-Bislett strawberry parties organised, as I recall, at Arne Hauvik's home and it was obvious he was a true fan of the sport.

In the years to follow his positive assistance for fan groups was very welcome and personal when in the modern internet ticket purchasing age fan's can easily feel more remote from event organisers. At the 2017 Belgrade European Indoors when a group of fans performed a very amusing Laura Muir "escape the official post-victory lap" routine that went all over Twitter he visited the section of the venue to thank those fans and share their joy in our sport. A good man.



Aleksandra Vojneska Zikova President Athletics federation of North Macedonia


The Athletics Federation of North Macedonia extends its deepest condolences to family,

colleagues and friends over the death of European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen.

As a colleague, he was a great supporter of Macedonian athletics and a great

inspiration to all of us. He was a witty and intelligent speaker who we would miss forever.

We had the honor to attend Macedonia on two occasions, showing commitment and

support to all athletic workers for their efforts, hard work and dedication that resulted in the

awarding of competitions from the European calendar to the Athletics Federation of Macedonia for which we are immensely grateful.

May he rest in peace.



Rien van Haperen, CEO European Championships Athletics Amsterdam 2016

Special memories to Svein Arne especially in the contacts before and during the European Championships 2016 in Amsterdam. Passionate athletics man.





Alexander Stolpe, Former DLV Head of Sports

The Athletics Family lost one of his most important personalities. He formed Athletics in Europe like no one else. I personally met Sven a few times in 2019, during the U23 European Championships and the Golden Track Awards in Talinn.


I can remember talking to him about the development of Athletics especially in Germany and also shaking his hand and while we talked and shaking our hands I was receiving that special feeling of "you are in good hands Alex". Sven always was aware of each conversation and hand shake and truly a committed professional to the beauty of Athletics. He had that special aura. He will be missed.



Maria Antonieta Ocon, 

Comite Olimpico Nicaruaguense

He recibido la noticia con mucho dolor y trizteza



Jan May, HeadCoach Hurdle

Danke für Ihr Leben, danke für die Leichtathletik !



Serghei Donets, European Athletics Golden Pin


It’s 2017, and I’m in London, reporting from the IAAF World Championships. I no longer work at the Moldovan Athletics Federation.


Throughout the Championship I encounter many of my former colleagues. While I still worked at the Federation, they greeted me warmly. In London, some acted as if they did not know me and rushed by without saying even a simple “Hello!”. 


Then, I meet Svein Arne Hansen who hugged me, invited me to take a selfie, and instantly sent it to my daughter on Facebook. Then he invited me to the European Athletics lunch. When I protested, saying that I no longer work for the Federation, he insisted that it’s not about what position someone occupies. The most important thing, he said, is what they did for athletics and what they will contribute in the future.


Svein Arne continued to invite me to events and planned to invite us to Paris this August… he planned to visit Moldova and promised to dedicate time to visit our family… But, COVID-19 pandemic began, and soon afterwards tragedy struck…


We lost a Great Man. A Man with a Big Heart. And a Great President. We will always remember his energy and his enthusiasm. He was a man who always had a smile on his face.


We would like to express our most sincere condolences to Svein Arne’s family, his friends, and his colleagues. 

Rest in Peace!




Michal Procházka, Czech Athletic Federation

I spoke to Mr Hansen once at a press conference in Praha in 2019 and asked him what led him to run [as President] again. He smiled and replied that the heads of the federations were encouraging him to continue.

In the autumn of 2015 we both traveled  to Podgorica: I run a marathon there, he went there for business. I liked that he traveled alone, without any assistant, no business class. In the crowd of passengers you would barely identify him is an important man of (European) athletics.


A sympathetic man who did not look at the others from above. And with an obvious sense of humor. We will miss him. Sincere condolences to family and other close people.