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03.02.2014, 15:02
Karl Erik Bøhn 1965 - 2014
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NEWS REPORT: The Norwegian coach of Hungary's women's national team passed away on 2 February after losing battle with cancer
 

Karl Erik Bøhn 1965 - 2014

After an almost year-long battle with cancer, Norwegian handball coach Karl Erik Bøhn, in his latest role the head coach of Hungary's women's national team, passed away aged 48 on Sunday.

Bøhn touched the whole of Norway with his approach to his illness.

He spoke openly about his situation until the very end and had a unique ability to see the best in everyone around him. And he told them. He was genuinely doing what he could to make everyone feel good.

He was asked about this by Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet, and answered: "Life is too short to hold people down." That was KEB in a nutshell.

As a player and coach he was pessimistic in all aspects. He always thought everything would go wrong before a match.

But this changed when he was diagnosed with his illness. He loved living and was thankful for every day he got.

When he was told, just before Christmas 2013, that his illness had reached a terminal stage, he decided to have his best Christmas ever and to enjoy the days he had left.

"It wasn’t a dream to get this message. But these are the rules of the game. You have to take what comes, even if it sucks or not. There are no yellow and red cards here," he said to Norwegian television station, TV 2.

On 5 January he wrote a piece for kreftkamp.no, an organisation which works to find a cure for cancer.

He ended his story with some advice: ‘Take care of your own’ (stolen from Per Fugelli (Norwegian physician)), 'Viva La Vida' (Coldplay), 'Don’t ask for a light load, but rather ask for a strong back' (Theodore Roosevelt).

EHF President, Jean Brihault, commented: "I was deeply sorry to hear the news of the death of Karl Erik. He faced up to his illness with great courage and his passing will be felt right across the handball world.

"I would like to express my condolences on behalf of the EHF to his family, friends and many supporters at this difficult time."

Karl Erik Bøhn played 126 matches for the Norwegian national team. As a coach, he worked with Drammen (men), Larvik (women), Györ (women) and the Hungarian national team (women).

Condolences from the Hungarian Handball Federation

The Hungarian Handball Federation issued a obituary on its website which is quoted in excerpts below.

"The entire Hungarian handball family is very grateful for the tireless and successful work of Kark Erik Bøhn with the Hungarian women's national team.

"I will always remember the moment when the team lifted him and threw him up in the air after they had won bronze at the EHF EURO 2012," said Istvan Vetesi, President of the Hungarian federation.

"Unfortunately, we only spent limited with him, in the national team as well as in the club (Bøhn was also contracted to Györi AUDI ETO KC since November 2011, ed.)," said Anita Görbicz, Hungary's team captain and centre back at Györ.

"However, even in this short timeframe, we realised that he's not only an outstanding handball expert, but a fantastic person on its own.

"He had a unique way to motivate us, so that we were able to perform miracles on the court. His death is a tragic loss for all of us."


TEXT: Stig Nygård / Hungarian Handball Federation / EHF / ts
 
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