2001-11-10It is with profound sadness that Kim McDonald International Management announces the death of its founder and chief executive. Kim, aged 45 was found dead from a heart attack in his hotel room last Wednesday, while on holiday in Brisbane, Australia. The delay in making the news public was necessitated by the process of identification and informing next of kin, his mother Margaret and his daughter Bridget, along with her mother Ellen. A very good runner himself - a 4.02 miler and a 2.19 marathoner - Kim was one of the first people to recognise and act on the realisation that athletes would need serious representation in the new professional world of the sport in the mid-80s. Even earlier, on trips to East Africa in the 70s, he had seen the potential for Kenyan athletic development, in which he would later play a huge role. Kims seriousness, business acumen, and reputation for honest and straight dealing quickly gained the confidence of many of the sports luminaries, and he was soon representing a group of the worlds leading athletes - Steve Ovett, John Walker, Peter Elliott, Liz McColgan, Sonia OSullivan, and many of the top Kenyans, led by Moses Kiptanui and Noah Ngeny, and most recently, the great young British sprinter, Mark Lewis-Francis. If he had one regret, it was that people did not recognise the extent and value of his coaching skills. But Peter Elliott said this morning, "Kim took over my programme in the late 80s, and basically I owe my Olympic silver and my Commonwealth gold to Kim". That same ability guided Noah Ngeny to the Olympic 1500 metres gold in Sydney last year. Sonia OSullivan, with whom he remained friends and her business representative, even after their own personal relationship ended, said this morning from Australia, "I was in Brisbane last week, but the only reason we didn meet was he was on holiday, and I knew hed coming here to Melbourne this week. But we talked on the phone. I was really looking forward to seeing him, and I think he was pleasantly surprised when I said I wanted to get back to a situation where he advised me, and we talked every day". The inevitable antagonism with officialdom soon vanished, and Kim became a close and trusted advisor of IAAF President, Lamine Diack. Speaking from Beijing this morning, Lamine said, "This is tragic news. I remember Kim as a young man full of life and enthusiasm. We had been friends for many years and I greatly appreciated the seriousness, honesty and passion he demonstrated when we worked together on the development of athletics in Africa". The offices of K.I.M., in London and in Boston have been inundated with phone calls, faxes and emails from across the world, expressing the same shock and regret that we feel, who have worked with Kim, in one particular case, for over 25 years. Arrangements are being made to bring Kims body back from Australia, and as soon as we have funeral details, they will be made public.
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