Mourning the loss of Prof. Wildor Hollmann
In the winter semester 2019/2020, he still inspired young students at the German Sport University Cologne with his knowledge and charm and was disappointed that this lecture had to be cancelled in the following summer semester due to the pandemic. Sadly, Univ. Prof. mult. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wildor Hollmann passed away on 13 May 2021 at the age of 96 surrounded by his family. The German Sport University Cologne mourns the loss of its former Institute Director and President, whose name will remain inseparably linked with the Cologne Sport University.
In 1947, the German Sport University was founded in Cologne, and in 1947 a young student named Wildor Hollmann began his medical studies at the University in Cologne. And as early as 1949, the two came together for the purpose of experimental research. This was followed by a lectureship in 1957, the founding of the Institute of Circulatory Research and Sports Medicine in 1958, and the appointment to the newly established Chair of Cardiology and Sports Medicine in 1965. From this point on, Wildor Hollmann accompanied the Sport University as founder of the Institute, President, Vice-President, Dean, Doctor of German national teams and inspiring lecturer for countless generations of students. Under his leadership, the Institute of Cardiology and Sports Medicine produced 24 habilitations and 14 professors. The recognition of the German Sport University Cologne as an independent scientific university with the right to award doctoral and post-doctoral degrees coincided with his tenure as President.
His research work in the 1960s revolutionised cardiological rehabilitation: Exercise was the magic word - new and controversial at the time, now a natural part of therapy following heart attacks and "his most important clinical research result", as he later said. Hollmann was elected President of the German Association of Sports Physicians (later Honorary President), twice President of the World Federation of Sports Medicine (later Honorary President) and was President of the German Olympic Society from 1994 to 1997.
He received many honorary titles and awards from all five continents. In 1961 he was awarded the Carl Diem Plaque for Sports Medicine and Sport Science (now the Science Award of the German Olympic Sports Confederation), three years later the Hufeland Prize for Preventive Medicine, and in 1976 the Sir Philip Noel Baker Research Prize from UNESCO. In 2002, he was honoured with the Paracelsus Medal, the highest award of the German medical profession. The Federal Republic of Germany awarded him the shoulder ribbon to the Great Federal Cross of Merit with Star. He received honorary doctorates and honorary professorships from universities in Germany and abroad.
In 1995, the German Sport University awarded him honorary citizenship and gave his name to the local forum in Institute Building II. Since January 2020, the Wildor Hollmann Forum has been home to a permanent exhibition on his life and work in pictures, objects and words.
Without the German Sport University, his life would have been completely different, he once said. Without Wildor Hollmann, the German Sport University Cologne would also be different.