Olympic boss suffers heart attack

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Gerhard Heiberg, the former Norwegian boss of the successful Olympics at Lillehammer who went on to join the International Olympic Committee (IOC), underwent surgery Thursday morning following what’s being called a mild heart attack.

Gerhard Heiberg underwent surgery Thursday morning. PHOTO: Idrett.no

Heiberg, age 71, reportedly was on holiday in the mountains when he felt unwell and contacted his doctor. “Fortunately he got help in time,” his secretary, Unni Johnsen, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “He has never had a heart attack before.”

Johnsen said doctors at Ullevål Hospital in Oslo operated on Heiberg Thursday morning and that he was doing well after surgery. “He’s cancelled all appointments through Friday, and then has to take one day at a time,” Johnsen said. “Right now he’s still in the hospital.”

Heiberg has been back in the public spotlight over the past week in connection with the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Oslo, which opened on Wednesday. He had planned to watch the women’s ski jumping competition at Midstuen on Friday, along with other IOC members, with an eye to making women’s ski jumping an event at the Winter Olympics.

Now he won’t be there, after earlier telling NRK that “the future for women’s ski jumping at the Olympics in 2014” would likely be decided on Friday.

Heiberg is a former chief executive of industrial firm Aker and Den Norske Bank. He lately made headlines in Norway as well for urging local officials to apply to host another Winter Olympics. Heiberg, a big booster of the last Summer Olympics in China, also was an outspoken critic of last year’s awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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