Book 100 years
Victor Boin (1886-1974)
Fri 28 Oct '22 He was the first and only person to become an honorary member without a board position in our sports federation
This very special hearing person within the Belgian able-bodied sports world unwittingly played a major role for sport for the disabled and this thanks to our Deaf Sports Federation. He is also the only person without a board position within our Federation to appear in our list of honours!

The International Sports Press Association, represented by its president Victor Boin wrote a laudatory article in 1941 about our Federation in the political weekly "Pourquoi Pas ?" (this made him an honorary member of our Federation) and contributed to the success of the 7th Silent Games 1953 in Brussels.

There he was inspired to found the Belgian Federation of Sports for the Disabled in 1960 as president while he was still in office as president of the Belgian Olympic Committee since 1957. With this he also became honorary president of our federation since 1957. Roger Lonnoy played a major role there.

It was thanks to Victor Boin that our Federation was received for its 40th anniversary in the Royal Palace in 1962.

The annual Victor Boin trophy, awarded every year to the best disabled athlete since 1974, was won in 2004 by Mathieu Loicq (member of S.C.S. Tournaisis, deaf and table tennis player at the Deaflympics and Paralympics) and in 2006 by Koen Adriaenssens
(member of K.D.S. Antwerpen, deaf swimmer of high level).
Unfortunately, since 2006, our athletes were no longer included as candidates for this trophy because this trophy is more for
athletes of the Belgian Paralympic Committee (B.P.C.).

His life

At the age of two years Victor Boin won a beautiful baby contest in Oostende. As a teenager, in 1903, he founded the first ice hockey club in Belgium and also became its first president. In 1906 and again in 1907 he become Belgian champion in the 100 metres as well as in 200 m freestyle swimming. He participated in the 1908 Olympics as a swimmer and water polo player, winning a silver medal in water polo. At the 1912 Olympics, he was fourth in the individual épée in fencing and won a water polo bronze medal, while in 1920, he won another silver medal, this time in team épée fencing.

Boin also competed in judo and tennis, and was Belgian Champion in judo, eventually earning a black belt in that sport. In swimming he earned fame in 1896 when he rescued a woman and her child off the coast of Ostend in the breakwater in front of the Kursaal. For that rescue, Boin was given La Croix Civique by King Leopold, the youngest ever to receive that award.

Boin became famous in the Olympic Movement as he was the first person to recite the Olympic Oath at the 1920 Opening Ceremony. He was also the Belgium flag bearer at the 1920 Opening Ceremony. His Olympic collections are preserved in the Flanders Sports Museum.
Boin worked as a sports journalist and theatre critic and became a sports official. In 1913 he created the Belgian Professional Association of Sports Journalists and was also involved in the 1924 founding of the International Sports Journalists’ Association (AIPS) and was first Vice-President, and then President. Between 1955 and 1965 Boin was President of the Belgium NOC, and was the founding President of the Belgian Paralympic Association in 1960. In World War I, he enlisted in the Belgian Army in 1915 and joined a unit of trucks with machine gun cars, and later the Air Force as the personal pilot of the Belgian Queen Elizabeth, a Bavarian Princess. He later started an airline that became SABENA, the Belgian national airline from 1923-2001.

The National Trophy Victor Boin is a Belgian annual award for the most deserving athlete with a disability. The award is named after him, co-founder and first president of the Belgian Sports Federation of the Disabled in 1960. In addition, the BPC (Belgian Paralympic Committee) also presents the ENGIE Talent of the Year award to a young talented athlete. The jury includes a number of former athletes and current and former directors of the Paralympic Movement.

Among the laureates of the Victor Boin trophy, we find two top deaf athletes: 
  • 2004 : Mathieu Loicq (table tennis player)
  • 2006 : Koen Adriaenssens (Swimmer)

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