Düsseldorf (RWH) The International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation IBSF mourns the death of former bobsleigh push athlete Richard Adjei. As his brother Jason announced on Facebook, the German athlete passed away on 26 October among his family. He was 37 years old.
Richard Adjei began his sporting career in American Football in his hometown of Düsseldorf and played, among others, for the club Rhein Fire in the NFL Europe. In 2007 he was discovered as a push athlete for the sport of bobsleigh and won the 4-man bobsleigh race with pilot Manuel Machata at his very first Europe Cup event in Innsbruck (AUT). In 2009 Machata and Adjei won silver each in the 2-man and 4-man bob at the Junior World Championships. In 2010 Richard Adjei competed in his first 2-man bobsleigh World Cup with pilot Thomas Florschütz in Koenigssee - and recommended himself for the German Olympic team, finishing first ahead of Olympic champion André Lange. At the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver (CAN) the duo Florschütz/Adjei won Olympic silver.
In the team with Manuel Machata, Richard Adjei became World Champion and European Champion in the 4-man bob in 2011. "He was always a cheerful, optimistic and ambitious person who helped many people in his life and made them laugh. We will all miss you Brother and thank you for the time we spent together," Manuel Machata wrote on Facebook.
National and international sports colleges also expressed their grief and sympathy about the early death of the popular athlete and shared their memories, including the Olympic silver medallists in 2-woman bobsleigh in 2010, 2014 and 2018 Helen Upperton (CAN) and Elana Meyers Taylor (USA), the 2014 Olympic bronze medallist John Jackson and team-mate Lamin Deen (GBR), the Olympic fourth in 2010 Esmé Kamphuis (NED) and Olympic Champion Anja Schneiderheinze (GER).
"It was with dismay and sadness that I learned of the death of Richard Adjei," said IOC President Thomas Bach. "I especially like to remember our time together at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, where Richard won the silver medal. He was a great athlete who always had a positive charisma, which earned him many friendships and a lot of sympathy - from me as well. That is how we will always remember him." ©RWH2020