Olympics: Organs from tragic canoe coach Stefan Henze save lives in Rio

Germany's Stefan Henze (right) pictured in Athens in 2004.
Germany's Stefan Henze (right) pictured in Athens in 2004.PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - The organs from a German canoe slalom coach, who died on Monday from injuries suffered in a taxi accident at the Rio Olympics, have helped save four lives, it emerged on Wednesday (Aug 17).

Stefan Henze, 35, a former world champion and 2004 Olympic silver medallist, died in a Rio hospital despite emergency surgery for the injuries he sustained while travelling from the canoe slalom venue in a taxi in the early hours of Friday.

But the German's organs have been successfully used to save lives in Rio, the health authorities for Rio de Janeiro confirmed to SID, an AFP subsidiary.

"The heart, liver and both kidneys were successfully transplanted. He has saved four lives," spokeswoman Roberta Napolis told SID.

Henze's family, who were with him in Rio when he died, had approved the removal of his organs to help others.

After his heart was successfully transplanted at Rio's public hospital Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia (INC), chief surgeon Alexandre Sicilano told national newspaper O Globo: "The family of the German showed enormous generosity."