Former International Olympic Association president Jacques Rogge is dead. He was 79. The 8th IOC president had led the world governing body for Olympic sports for 13 years – from 2001 to 2013.
The multi-faceted IOC president had represented Belgium in three Olympics between 1968 and 1976 in Finn Class Sailing. A professional medical practitioner, Rogge was an orthopaedic surgeon with a degree in sports medicine. He had also earned ten caps for the Belgium in rugby.
He also served as the President of the Belgian Olympic Committee and European Olympic Committees, as Special Envoy for Youth, Refugees and Sport to the United Nations after his tenure as IOC President.
Rogge oversaw Salt Lake City 2002, Athens 2004, Turin 2006, Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, and London 2012 as President.
Reflecting on Rogge’s life, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “First and foremost, Jacques loved sport and being with athletes – and he transmitted this passion to everyone who knew him. His joy in sport was infectious.
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“He was an accomplished President, helping to modernise and transform the IOC. He will be remembered particularly for championing youth sport and for inaugurating the Youth Olympic Games. He was also a fierce proponent of clean sport, and fought tirelessly against the evils of doping.”
President Bach added: “Since we were elected as IOC members together we shared a wonderful bond of friendship, and this continued until his last days, when the entire Olympic Movement and I could still benefit from his contribution, in particular on the Board of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage.
“The entire Olympic Movement will deeply mourn the loss of a great friend and a passionate fan of sport.”
As a mark of respect, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast for five days at Olympic House, at the Olympic Museum, and at all IOC properties, IOC has reported on its official website.
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