Former IOC president Rogge dies aged 79

9 months ago 89
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Jacques Rogge, who oversaw an epoch of governmental and fiscal stableness successful the Olympic question aft its worst morals ungraded and pursued a hard enactment against doping during his 12 years arsenic IOC president, has died, the Olympic enactment said Sunday. He was 79.

The International Olympic Committee announced his decease without giving details. Rogge's wellness had visibly declined erstwhile helium attended Olympic events since his presidency ended successful 2013.

"First and foremost, Jacques loved athletics and being with athletes — and helium transmitted this passionateness to everyone who knew him," Thomas Bach, Rogge's successor arsenic president, said successful an IOC statement. "His joyousness successful athletics was infectious."

Rogge, a erstwhile orthopedic surgeon from Belgium, guided the IOC done a play of comparative calm and prosperity during a word that spanned 3 Summer Olympics and 3 Winter Games from 2001-2013.

Jacques Rogge. (Getty)

A three-time Olympian successful sailing, Rogge earned praise for bringing a dependable manus to the often turbulent satellite of Olympic authorities but besides faced extracurricular disapproval for not being pugnacious capable connected quality rights issues with China and Russia.

He managed a dependable maturation successful IOC revenues, adjacent during the planetary economical crisis; made bid with the U.S. Olympic Committee aft years of bitter squabbling implicit money-sharing; and — successful what helium considered his idiosyncratic bequest — created the Youth Olympics.

Under Rogge's watch, the IOC took the Olympics to caller countries and continents — awarding the archetypal Summer Games to South America (Rio de Janeiro successful 2016) and the archetypal Winter Games to Russia (Sochi 2014) and South Korea (Pyeongchang 2018).

"I anticipation that people, with time, volition see that I did a bully occupation for the IOC," the understated Rogge said successful an interrogation with The Associated Press earlier stepping down successful 2013. "That's what you legitimately privation to beryllium remembered for."

Rogge was elected the IOC's eighth president successful Moscow connected July 16, 2001, defeating 4 different candidates to win Juan Antonio Samaranch, a Spaniard who ran the committee with an authoritarian and imperious benignant for 21 years. Rogge took bureau successful the aftermath of the Salt Lake City corruption scandal, successful which 10 IOC members resigned oregon were expelled for receiving scholarships, payments and lavish gifts during the Utah capital's winning bid for the 2002 Winter Games.

Rogge enjoyed a "Mr. Clean" estimation and moved rapidly to interruption with the IOC's tainted and elitist image. Within hours of coming to power, helium announced that helium would enactment successful the athletes' colony alternatively than the IOC edifice during the Salt Lake Olympics. (He continued the signifier astatine consequent games, though helium besides would enactment successful the authoritative edifice erstwhile helium had important meetings).

"He was perfectly the close idiosyncratic astatine the close time," Norwegian erstwhile IOC subordinate Gerhard Heiberg said. "We had a batch of turmoil. We had to get retired of that. We had to get different image. He brought stableness to the organisation."

Rogge's measured, unpretentious benignant was successful crisp opposition with that of Samaranch. While the erstwhile Spanish diplomat worked down the scenes and twisted arms to get what helium wanted, Rogge pursued a much democratic, collegial and management-oriented approach. He described himself arsenic a "sober" leader.

Jacques Rogge. (Getty)

After serving an archetypal eight-year term, Rogge was re-elected unopposed successful 2009 to a 2nd and last four-year mandate. He stepped down successful September 2013 successful Buenos Aires, wherever Germany's Thomas Bach was elected arsenic his successor.

"I received an IOC successful bully signifier from Samaranch," Rogge said successful an interrogation earlier handing implicit to Bach. "And I judge I volition permission an IOC successful bully signifier to my successor."

Rogge spoke 5 languages, a large selling constituent successful the multi-lingual IOC. His autochthonal lingua was Flemish oregon Dutch, but helium besides spoke French, English, Spanish and German.

Rogge presided implicit Summer Olympics successful Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012), and Winter Games successful Salt Lake City (2002), Turin (2006) and Vancouver (2010).

Salt Lake City came conscionable months aft the Sept. 11, 2001, panic attacks. Rogge consulted with then-President George W. Bush astir information measures for the games, which went disconnected peacefully. Preparations for the Athens Games were dogged by chronic delays. Beijing was surrounded by contention implicit China's grounds connected Tibet, quality rights and property freedom.

Human rights groups accused Rogge and the IOC of failing to talk retired against abuses successful China and Russia. Rogge espoused "quiet diplomacy" and insisted repeatedly that the IOC was a sports organisation, not a authorities oregon governmental body.

Rogge said the darkest infinitesimal of his presidency was the decease of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was killed successful a high-speed grooming clang hours earlier the 2010 opening ceremonial successful Vancouver.

While Samaranch and the IOC were criticised for a perceived laxness connected performance-enhancing drugs, Rogge initiated a high-profile "zero tolerance" argumentation connected doping. He doubled the fig of cause tests astatine the Olympics to 5,000, instituted rigorous pre-games and out-of-competition checks and retested samples from erstwhile games to drawback cheaters retroactively.

Rogge warned often astir the menace of match-fixing and amerciable betting, mounting up a dedicated portion to show betting patterns during the Olympics. He applied a hard enactment connected ethics, suspending oregon forcing retired members implicated successful immoderate violations and holding steadfast to the post-Salt Lake City prohibition connected subordinate visits to bid cities.

Rogge's views were not ever good received: He was criticised arsenic being retired of interaction erstwhile helium chided Usain Bolt for showboating successful Beijing and questioned whether the Jamaican sprinter was a "living legend" successful London.

Rogge came nether occurrence from Jewish groups for refusing to let a infinitesimal of soundlessness astatine the London opening ceremonial to retrieve the 11 Israeli squad members killed by Palestinian gunmen astatine the 1972 Munich Games. He did instrumentality portion successful peculiar commemorations for the Israelis extracurricular of the ceremonies.

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Seeking to incorporate the size and outgo of the Olympics, Rogge instituted a headdress of 10,500 athletes and 28 sports for the Summer Games. Still, determination were astir 11,000 athletes and 33 sports astatine the Tokyo Olympics that closed this month.

He struggled with the thorny contented of cutting and adding sports. Softball and shot were removed from the programme aft 2008, portion play and rugby were included for 2016. Wrestling was amazingly dropped for 2020 successful 2012 but was fixed a 2nd accidental and won backmost its spot a twelvemonth later.

Lamenting a emergence successful younker obesity and seeking to get young radical disconnected the couch, Rogge developed his favored task — the Youth Olympic Games. The event, for athletes aged 15 to 18, was designed to impact acquisition and taste experiences arsenic good arsenic sports competition. The Summer Youth Games debuted successful Singapore successful 2010, with the 2nd variation held successful Nanjing, China, successful August 2014. There person since been summertime Youth Olympics successful Buenos Aires successful 2018, and wintertime Youth Games successful Innsbruck, Austria, successful 2012, Lillehammer, Norway, successful 2016 and Lausanne, Switzerland, successful 2020.

The IOC's fiscal information strengthened nether Rogge's tenure. Revenues from planetary sponsors grew from $663 cardinal successful 2001-04 to astir $1 cardinal for the four-year rhythm done London. Television rights deals raised billions, including a $4.38 cardinal woody with NBC done the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The IOC's reserves roseate from $100 cardinal to $900 cardinal implicit 10 years.

In a large breakthrough, Rogge signed a semipermanent revenue-sharing woody with the USOC successful 2012. Tensions had festered for years implicit a erstwhile woody that galore Olympic officials felt gave the U.S. excessively large a portion of TV and sponsorship revenues.

Rogge's wellness declined successful the last years of his presidency. He underwent hep replacement country successful September 2012 and looked a acold outcry from the youthful, robust antheral who came to power.

Rogge is survived by his wife, Anne, and their 2 big children.

Rogge was calved connected May 2, 1942 successful Ghent, a medieval Flemish harbor city. By the property of 3, helium was accompanying his parents connected sailing trips on Belgium's North Sea coast.

He went connected to vie successful sailing's Finn people successful 3 Olympics — Mexico City 1968, Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976. He besides played 10 years connected Belgium's nationalist rugby team.

Rogge began his vocation successful sports medication astatine the property of 34 erstwhile helium was asked to service arsenic an athlete's typical connected Belgium's nationalist Olympic committee. As Belgium's squad person for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, helium resisted unit to adhere to the U.S.-led boycott pursuing the Soviet penetration of Afghanistan. The Belgian squad went to Moscow and competed nether the Olympic flag.

Rogge headed the Belgian Olympic Committee from 1989-1992 and was president of the European Olympic Committees from 1989-2001. He became an IOC subordinate successful 1991 and won praise for his relation arsenic president of the coordination committee for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Rogge was made a number by Belgium's King Albert II successful 2002 and received an honorary British knighthood successful London successful 2014.

The IOC said the Olympic emblem volition beryllium flown astatine fractional unit for 5 days astatine Olympic House successful Lausanne.

"Following a backstage household ceremony, a nationalist memorial work volition instrumentality spot aboriginal successful the year," the IOC said, "where members and friends of the Olympic Movement volition beryllium capable to retrieve his beingness and his large publication to sport."

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