Sir Tennant Edward (Tay) Wilson, a longtime member of the International Olympic Committee from New Zealand and a staunch advocate of the Olympic movement and sports-event industry, has passed away at age 89.
Wilson joined the IOC in 1988 and served on the New Sources of Financing Commission (1989-1993) and Finance Commission (1994-2006). He became an IOC honorary member in 2006. He was also a member of the SportsTravel Editorial Advisory Board.
“Sir Tay was a man full of passion for sport. He believed strongly in the integrity of sport, and spent most of his life working to protect it,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “The entire Olympic Movement will miss him. We express our deepest sympathies to the family of Tay Wilson and the Olympic community in New Zealand.”
“Sir Tay was an enthusiastic supporter of SportsTravel magazine from its earliest days,” said Timothy Schneider, publisher of SportsTravel. “His devotion to the positive value of sport will be missed.”
During his long career in the Olympic movement, Wilson held numerous positions: chef de mission at the 1980 Olympic Summer Games in Moscow, deputy chef de mission at the 1984 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles, secretary general of the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, member of the Association of National Olympic Committees Executive Commission (1989-1993; 1996-2000), chairman of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) Finance Commission (1985-1993), and ONOC secretary general (1989-1993). He was also president of the New Zealand Pierre de Coubertin Committee, president of the Pierre de Coubertin Institute, and life member of the Special Olympics of New Zealand Foundation.
His work with the Olympic movement was the crowning achievement of a life-long passion for sport. A rowing champion in his early years, he became New Zealand double sculls junior champion in 1959. Besides rowing, he was also fond of many other sports, such as swimming, hockey, golf and badminton.