Collin Matiza and Tadious Manyepo
THE Zimbabwe Olympic Committee have described the death of iconic sports administrator Mark Manolios as a massive blow for sports development in this country.
Manolios died of heart failure on Monday night after collapsing in his hotel room in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he had undergone a minor operation at Four Ways Hospital.
He was 78.
Titus Zvomuya, former ZOC board member who worked with Manolios for over 15 years, confirmed the veteran sports administrator’s death yesterday.
“I can confirm that Mark Manolios is no more. He died in South Africa on Monday night where he had gone for a minor operation. He had been discharged but collapsed of dysoected heart failure in his hotel room.
“It’s another sad day for Zimbabwe sport. Manolios was a man who served the nation with great patriotism and passion. I am happy to have worked with him in hockey both at Provincial and national levels and on the ZOC Board.
“He was the first chef de mission of Team Zimbabwe at the 1980 Moscow Olympics as well as the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Thank you for sharing with me your experiences when I was appointed the CdM for the 2014 Team Zimbabwe at the Nanjing Youth Olympics and the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
‘’I will sadly miss you and the coffee we used to have at the Arundel Shopping Centre. May Your Soul Rest in Eternal Peace Mark,” Zvomuya said.
ZOC president Admire Masenda describing Manolios’ death as a blow for the local sports industry.
“As the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee, we are deeply saddened by the sudden death of Mark Manolios. He was a great sports leader, businessperson and mentor. He served ZOC in various capacities with distinction.
“Not only did he play a pivotal role in the 1980 national ladies’ hockey team Olympic success story, but he was also instrumental to our hosting of the 1995 All-Africa Games.
“He will be sadly missed. Sport will be poorer without Manolios,” Masenda said.
Former ZOC president Tommy Sithole said sport in Zimbabwe will never be the same without one of his closest friends and business partner Manolios.
“I have never met anyone in my life who is so passionate about sports development and doing it right than Mark Manolios,” said Sithole.
“Manolios would set achievable targets and that’s the mark of a (good) leader. He did so much for Zimbabwean sport and his involvement in hockey will ever be remembered.
“In fact, he was the granddad of the sport in the country, helping developing it at grassroots level, making follow-ups and mentoring the seniors who would always prevail in competitions,” Sithole said.
Sport and Recreation Commission acting director-general Daniel Kuwengwa also paid tribute to Manolios.
“Once again the sporting fraternity has been plunged into mourning following the sudden death of one of its illustrious administrators ever to emerge from this country. Mark Manolios is no more.
“Mark was not only an avid and enthusiastic hockey administrator but he was also a versatile sports administrator.’’