Henrik Bach Nielsen announces candidature for IIHF President

05 July 2021

Henrik Bach Nielsen, President of the Danish Ice Hockey Union and International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Council Member, has today announced that he is running for the position of IIHF President. Henrik has been nominated as a Presidential candidate by the Danish Ice Hockey Federation and is also fully supported by the Danish National Olympic Committee (NOC).

Henrik has been an active IIHF Council Member for almost 10 years and was recently re-elected as President of his national hockey association. Under his leadership, Danish Ice Hockey has seen tremendous growth, both on and off the ice. Its membership and revenues have steadily increased, results of the National Team have improved whereby Denmark is now competing at the highest level on the world stage, and the IIHF World Championships were successfully hosted in Denmark for the first time in 2018. Recognised for their achievements, the Danish Ice Hockey Union recently won the ‘Danish Federation of the Year’ award, presented at the Danish NOC Congress in late June 2021.

Under the banner of ‘Breaking Barriers’, Henrik Bach Nielsen believes that looking ahead at the next chapter of the IIHF it is the right time for the sport to become truly global. For too long, the IIHF has relied on the success of a few strong nations to carry the sport forward. To be truly global, more strong nations are needed. To get more strong nations, the IIHF needs to break-down the barriers that have traditionally stopped the growth of the sport in so many countries. 

While announcing his candidacy, Henrik Bach Nielsen stated:

It is time to dramatically expand the number of countries competing on a high level and being in a position to host our events. This does not mean taking away from our strong nations. It simply means that as the big nations continue to grow, the rest will develop faster and catch-up.  If we are all stronger, we will all have a greater global audience, an increased appeal for commercial and broadcast opportunities and more and more inspiration for young people that want to join our sport in so many countries around the world. I am committed to leading the sport to a new era of growth where all hockey associations can benefit.

Upon the announcement of the Presidential candidacy, Hans Natorp, President of the Danish NOC, stated: 

Danish Ice Hockey Federation was recently awarded the Danish Federation of the Year Award. It has done exceptionally well in a difficult corona time. Their membership has increased by 10 per cent despite the barriers that corona presented. It has also had a strong and courageous voice in the international sports policy debate. Henrik has taken Danish Ice Hockey from a weak sport in our country, to a strong position on the international level. This is due to the strong leadership of Henrik and the hard work of his team. I know that he is capable of accomplishing great things on the international level. Our full support is behind Henrik and we wish him the best of luck.

The IIHF Member National Associations will vote to decide the new President of the IIHF in September 2021 at the Semi-Annual Congress in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

Media contact 

Caroline Anderson