Golian was a true volleyball and sports legend in Slovakia having medalled twice at the Olympics (silver in Tokyo 1964 and bronze four years later in Mexico City, where he was also the flag bearer of the Czechoslovakia delegation at the opening ceremony) and was also crowned a world champion twice in 1956 and 1966.
He was voted the Slovak Volleyball player of the century by the Slovak Volleyball Federation and was ranked 12th in the poll for the athlete of the century. He is the only Slovak sportsperson to have medalled twice in team sports at the Olympic Games.
After lecturing for twelve years at the faculty of Physical Education and Sports he earned his Ph.D. while coaching at the same time and joining the highest Slovak sports institutions as one of the most respected officials. He was awarded the “Pierre de Coubertin” medal by the International Olympic Committee in 2006 and one year later received the “golden rings” from the Slovak Olympic Committee.
“The volleyball family in Slovakia is sad. Bohumil Golian was big person in our sport,” Slovak Volleyball Federation president Lubor Halanda said.
“He was very active, he visited our games and was big fan of our national teams. We spent some nice moments last November in Poprad during the Olympic Games pre-qualification tournament and he was also in Prague during the CEV European Championships. I visited him in hospital and told him that our men´s national team was awarded as Best Sports Team in Slovakia in 2011 and he was happy. It is a big loss for us.”
Golian leaves behind wife Marta and two children, son Robert and daughter Katarina. The FIVB and the whole of the volleyball world offers its sincere condolences.