This message is from Michael Pedersen’s parents:

Michael PedersenWe are deeply saddened to let you know that our beloved son Michael Pedersen passed away on February 5, 2019 at age 43. He was struck by a heart attack while walking not far from his home in the mountains surrounding Malaga, Spain.

Michael was a true globalist dedicated to making a difference be it for street kids in developing countries, the climate, good governance in sports, and the fight against corruption. Behind it all was his love for people not least all of you in his extensive, global network.

Michael achieved to be an internationally recognized expert in sport governance, transparency, ethics and integrity.

Michael would want all of you know what happened to him and why he ceased taking leadership in changing the world for the better. There is nothing Michael would want more than for you to press on and uphold the ideals that he so tirelessly served.

We loved him deeply. He was an amazing son, brother, uncle and friend. Please join us in celebrating his life and mourning his passing. Michael will live on in our hearts in all eternity.

Warm greetings,
Karen Marie Pedersen <kmho[at]outlook[dot]dk>
Jorgen Pedersen <jorgen.e.pedersen[at]hotmail[dot]com>

From the speech at Michael’s funeral:

“Michael was such a man who lit up and spread joy, inspiration and commitment. When such a person as Michael dies from us, it is as if only darkness and emptiness remain – as if the sun has set. We are left in the darkness of sorrow, and yet we remain inspired by the light Michael gave to us. Michael was so dedicated and focused on how he spent his time. He achieved more in his short life than many of us do in a lifetime. Michael wanted to make the world a better place, and he did not succumb to inaction. Michael walked his talk. Imagine he was here - and imagine he was allowed to be yours.”

Malene Freksen

“This week the world has lost an open-hearted eco-worrier, Michael Pedersen, known throughout the world for his commitment to ecological health and human dignity.
Michael was a brilliant and energetic advocate, focused on using the world of sport to advance all forms of social and ecological justice. Words can only belittle how energetic and positive a person Michael was, and how much he will be missed. The world has lost a very important asset.”

Allen Hershkowitz, PhD
Chairman and Founding Director
Sport and Sustainability International

“Over the last year, I have worked closely with Michael and have been inspired by his passion, knowledge and selflessness to make this world a better place. In the short time, he was able to motivate me to be a better version of myself and to use my voice for positive change. He has left this planet better than he found it and that is what we all need to aspire to do.”

Chris Mazdzer
Olympic Silver Medalist
Athlete Commision Chair,
International Luge Federation

“Michael was a gift. I will carry in my memory our many talks and sharing of ideas. I will continue to be motivated and inspired by his indomitable spirit and determination and dedication to making a positive difference.”

Brian Lewis
President of the Trinidad &Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC)

“I was shocked, sad, furious and devastated, that a man so wonderful, so good, so generous could be gone so soon. He had so graciously accepted to be an Advisor in a new project we were launching around servicing victims of abuse in sports, The Spirit of Trust.”

Rébecca Khoury
President & CEO
MAKO Corpo.
Events & Executive Sport Management Specialists

“To improve people's lives through research in sport and development, Michael’s insightful thoughts were certainly a magnificent contribution to the field.“

Dr. Mariana ALBA
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Communication Sciences

“The world has many ambassadors, who do not reap fame and spotlight, but who move and change the world through their daily actions. Michael was such a person.”

Kristian Thorn
Close friend and Director of Education, Aarhus University

“Michael was a great connector of people and ideas. Last year Michael extremely generously helped my fledgling UK based charity, Safe Sport International, to run our inaugural conference in Madrid. Michael developed and delivered a whole day's workshop to help delegates work together to take action. He did this completely free of charge as he believed in our cause.”

Anne Tiivas OBE
Chair - Safe Sport International

“What I always remember about him is how earnest, gentle and thoughtful he was.”

Sushant Palakurthi Rao
Former colleague at World Economic Forum

“Michael was a very motivated advocate of using sports to fight climate change, and other noble values and goals. His voice will be missed.”

Jan Dusík
Principal Adviser, Strategic Engagement for the Arctic and Antarctic
United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

“Michael was my intern at the UN some 15 years ago and we later became close friends and collaborators in the fight against catastrophic climate change. He was full of energy, enthusiasm and positive spirits.”

Tapio Kanninen
Global Crisis Information Network Inc. GCINET

“I remember Michael dearly, as an awesome person. His drive was contagious and his good spirit, smile and kindness will be sorely missed.”

Olivia Bessat
Former colleague at Word Economic Forum

“Michael was a passionate professional and a great human being. He always had encouraging and inspiring words for everyone.”

Guido Battaglia
Former colleague at World Economic Forum

“I had many inspiring conversations with Michael about how football teams mobilizing women could be engaged in the fight against climate change. It was a great joy and inspiration getting to know Michael. This is how I always remember him: Curious, committed and full of empathy.”

Rikke Rønholt Albertsen
CO-CEO Eir Soccer/GGWCup

“Michael was a very special soul; he would have loved to see the harvest from all the seeds that he so tirelessly sewed.”

Majken Gilmartin
CoFounder ggwcup

“Michael was an important ally, driving force and source of inspiration in our common goal: reform the world of sports, fight corruption and promote the visions that accommodate sport for all - also for the poorest. Michael was the epitome of a friendly and positive approach to the world. This enabled him to open doors, minds and hearts.”

Jens Sejer Andersen
International director
Play the Game/Danish Institute for Sports Studies

“He was such a gentle, positive, healthy and professional man and he has left behind a sustained legacy in the sport policy arena.”

Philipp Müller-Wirth
Executive Officer for Sport
Social & Human Sciences Sector
Secretary, CIGEPS

“Michael always came across as knowledgeable, compassionate and committed to improving the governance of sports organisations. I observed that he was also pragmatic in his recommendations, focusing on the real world rather than abstract philosophy, which is sometimes a failing of the “integrity” industry.”

Rowland Jack
Founder, I Trust Sport

“He was always a positive, creative and a very pleasant person to work with. His work with sports and sustainability was important and impactful, beyond even what I think he realized himself.”

Niclas Svenningsen
Manager, Global Climate Action

“From the first time we met I realized that Michael was a remarkable person of such passion, intelligence and integrity. He was always positive, always thoughtful and everything he did was done with such love, care and attention for the welfare of others and for the environment. He was a truly remarkable man who will be missed by many.”

Dr. Russell Seymour
Executive Director
BASIS - British Association for Sustainable Sport

“Michael and I had gotten to know each over the past few years around our sport work together on a UN project. His unfaltering enthusiasm and commitment to making our world a better place will be sorely missed. Beyond his great work, the world has lost a kind, positive and really lovely soul.”

Claire Poole
Clear Bright Consulting

”Michael has most definitely left a lasting impression on his colleagues and friends on attitude towards life, relentlessly striving for a better world, and commitment to make a difference. I warmly recall his smiles, gentle tone of voice, and his cheerful sense of humour”

Chiemi Hayashi
Former colleague at World Economic Forum

“I will always remember his kindness, his bright smile and his passion for change in society through positive initiatives. He was a true independent leader and the world undoubtedly needs more genuine and honest people like him.”

Benjamim Cohen
Director General
International Testing Agency