The British Olympic Association (BOA) has paid tribute to former British Rowing chairman Dame Di Ellis, who has died at the age of 79 following a short illness.
Dame Di was a pioneer in the British sporting landscape, most notably in forging a pathway for women in high-performance sport and leadership.
Having been an international standard rower with England and Great Britain, she became a renowned sports administrator and in 1989 was appointed chairman of the Amateur Rowing Association, which changed its name to British Rowing in 2009.
Dame Di, who stayed at the helm until 2013, is a previous winner of The Sunday Times Sportswoman Administrator of the Year award and in 2004 received a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to rowing.
Under her chairmanship, Great Britain won a total of 26 Olympic medals, comprising 12 golds, seven silvers and seven bronzes.
This included four golds, two silvers and three bronzes at London 2012, where Britain topped the sport's medal table.
In 2013, Dame Di was awarded a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours list, recognising a lifetime's commitment to sport.
A trustee of the British Olympic Foundation and the Torch Trophy Trust, she was also a life vice-president of the BOA, whose Board she first joined in 1997, as well as Honorary President of British Rowing and vice-president of the Sport and Recreation Alliance.
"This is a sad day for the entire Olympic Movement in this country," BOA chairman Sir Hugh Robertson said.
"Anyone who worked with Di would know that she was not only passionate about sport and its role in society, but driven to see greater opportunities carved out for all, especially for women in sport.
"Her family can be proud of her wonderful contribution to sport in this country and can reflect on the fact that Di enriched the lives of so many around her.
"She will be dearly missed, not least by her friends and colleagues on the National Olympic Committee."
Annamarie Phelps, current chairman of British Rowing and vice-chair of the BOA, added: "Di was an incredible lady, genuine, wise, reflective and truly inspirational.
"Hers was truly a life to celebrate.
"She was a mentor and confidante to so many, always quietly shaping opinion and thinking ahead.
"Di will be missed across the breadth of British sport but particularly across British Rowing to which she was entirely devoted."
Dame Di, who was the first female steward of Henley Royal Regatta and a founder member of Henley Women's Regatta, leaves behind husband John, daughter Claire and two grandsons.
In a statement, British Rowing said: "Dame Di was an instrumental figure and stalwart of British rowing for over 60 years.
"During her life, she was an inspiration and champion to so many, both within rowing and across the wider British sporting landscape.
"Her enduring love of rowing, her grace and fortitude will never be matched; she will be dearly missed by all."