OESV Official Franz Stark Dies
|29.05.2012, Innsbruck / Franz Berger/IBU|
|Alpencup Coordinator Suffered Heart Attack|
|The coordinator for the Alpencup competition series and former IBU International Referee Franz Stark died on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 after a severe heart attack. The vice-president of the regional Lower Austria Ski Association and National Executive for Biathlon of the Austrian Ski Federation was 73 years old.|
Stark was a referee during the first Biathlon World Championships using small bore rifles in 1978 in Hochfilzen, Austria.
He was ever present at Austrian competitions since the eighties, supporting the organizers by passing on his knowledge. The organization and development of the Alpencup and European Cup series in Austria were especially dear to his heart at that time. In 1985 he passed the test as an International Referee and when the IBU founded the TD group in 1994 he was among the first in that group.
Since then he volunteered in international biathlon as well. Over the years he was the Technical Delegate or International Referee at many IBU World Championships or World Cups. He was a well-respected and valued role model IR and was popular nationally as well as internationally. If another IR colleague had to cancel and engagement, Stark was always willing to take over on short notice. He was also the IR during the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
In addition, he was the long term chief of competition at the Biathlon World Cups in Hochfilzen. The home World Championships in 2005 in Hochfilzen, where he was competition chief and also chief of sport in the Organizing Committee was both the highlight and the end of his international career.
During the last four years he also made international development on a regional level; in his case the alpine nations, in biathlon one of his goals. His task was to coordinate the events for youth and junior but also for senior athletes in the alpine countries. He managed to integrate a well-working and successful competition series within this short time.
Stark was generally popular because the athletes and the sport took center stage for him. He passed on his experience and his knowledge and never tired of aiming for improvements.