Klaus Bonsack has died aged 81 ©FIL

The International Luge Federation (FIL) has paid tribute to Olympic champion Klaus Bonsack who has died at the age of 81.

Competing for the United Team of Germany, Bonsack won silver in the men's singles event at Innsbruck 1964 which was luge's first appearance at the Olympic Games.

He then triumphed in the men's doubles alongside Thomas Köhler four years later at Grenoble 1968, while also winning singles bronze for East Germany.

Bonsack's final Olympic podium came at Sapporo 1972 with bronze in the men's doubles this time with Wolfram Fiedler.

He then went on to coach athletes to four Olympic medals at Albertville 1992, making him the most successful head coach of the Austrian luge team at the Games.

"With deepest sympathy towards his wife and two children and best memories of an extraordinary personality, the FIL family mourns the passing of Klaus Bonsack," said FIL President Einars Fogelis.

Einars Fogelis has said the FIL
Einars Fogelis has said the FIL "will forever keep [Klaus Bonsack] in our best memories" ©FIL

"We will forever keep him in our best memories."

From 1981 to 1998, Bonsack was active in FIL functions as he served as technical delegate for the governing body.

At the organisation's 29th Congress in Hammarstrand in 1981, he was elected to the Technical Commission before being elected as second vice-president four years later.

He became vice-president for technology in 1989 and then chair of the Technical Commission in 1994 before his term ended in 1998.

Bonsack was one of the first three members to be inducted into the FIL Hall of Fame in 2004.

In addition to Olympic successes, he won gold at the Hammarstrand 1967 World Championships as well as two silvers and two golds from 1963 to 1969.