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April 11 - Thomas Bach, the vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), today led the tributes to Piotr Nurowski (pictured), the President of the Polish Olympic Committee (POC), killed yesterday in the plane crash that has devastated Poland.
Nurowski, 64, was one of 96 people killed in the disaster that also claimed the live of Poland's President Lech Kaczynski along with several other members of the country's political elite as it crashed in thick fog while attempting to land at Smolensk airport.
Bach, who is also the President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), today called Adam Krzesinski, the secretary general of the POC, to offer his condolences and support.
Bach said: "German sport has lost an outstanding friend in Piotr Nurowski and a reliable partner, the sport overall has lost a great person and I personally have lost a good friend.
"Piotr Nurowski was an outstanding President, who has led his NOC in convincing fashion, both in terms of sporting success and in the way he upheld the values of sport.
"He had an excellent reputation in the world of sports."
There was also a tribute from Pat Hickey, the President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) to Nurowski, a former President of the Polish Athletics Federation.
Hickey said: "He was very popular within the European Olympic movement and he will be very badly missed by everyone."
The POC's official website was tinged in black as a tribute to Nurowski.
There was also a special tribute held today at the POC's headquarters in Warsaw led by Tomasz Półgrabski, Poland's Undersecretary for Sport, and attended by Irena Szewińska, Poland's greatest ever sportswoman who is a member of the IOC.
Donald Tusk, the Polish Prime Minister, has described the crash as the ''most tragic event in Poland's post-war history''.
A week of mourning has been declared.
Andrzej Kraśnicki, the President of Poland's Handball Federation, who was the vice-president will take-over as the temporary President of the POC until a decision is taken about what should they do next.
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April 2010: Polish Olympic Committee President killed in plane crash