Stefan Henze was a whitewater canoeist who won a silver medal with Marcus Becker in the Canadian doubles at the 2004 Athina Olympics. In 2003 both became World Champions and in 2008 Henze was team European Champion. He came from a canoeing family, as his father Jürgen and brother Frank were also whitewater paddlers. His father was his first coach in Stefan’s active career. After the 2008 Europeans Henze and Becker did not manage to qualify for London 2012, and they then started a coaching career, training Melanie Pfeifer at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Both belonged to the national coaching stuff of the German Olympic whitewater canoe team.
On 12 August 2016, early in the morning, Henze took a taxi together with sports scientist Christian Käding to drive to the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro. The taxi crashed and Henze suffered severe head injuries, which German Olympic chief physician Bernd Wolfarth described as life-threatening. Henze died only three days later, on 15 August, aged only 35 years. An organ donor, his heart, liver, and kidneys went on to save the lives of four other people.