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Baumann steps down as NZ HP sports boss

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/06/2017

High Performance Sport New Zealand Chief Executive Alex Baumann. © Hannah Peters/Getty Images High Performance Sport New Zealand Chief Executive Alex Baumann. High Performance Sport New Zealand will begin the search for a new chief executive after Alex Baumann announced his resignation.

Former Canadian Olympic swimming champion Baumann announced on Friday he is stepping down for personal reasons, ending a five-year stint.

The tenure has been regarded as a successful one, most notably at Olympic level where the 13 medals won at the 2012 London Games matched New Zealand's previous record before the 18 at Rio last year set new ground.

HPSNZ chairman Sir Paul Collins paid tribute to Baumann, 53, whose tenure was marked by leadership and vision, he said.

"Without question Alex has lifted the bar for high performance sport in New Zealand and built an organisation that is among the best in the world," Collins said.

"The unprecedented success in Rio last year is testament to that."

Baumann said the role had been a "privilege" but the time was right to spend more time with his children and extended family, who largely live in Australia.

"New Zealand's high performance system is one of the best in the world and the potential for future success is great. HPSNZ is in a great shape and I am confident of the continued and sustained success through to Tokyo and beyond," he said.

Baumann won two gold medal for Canada in the pool at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He also held two world records and was twice named world male swimmer of the year.

His previous role was as Canada's high performance sports boss.

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