Former IOC president Jacques Rogge passes away aged 79

The IOC announced the news of Jacques Rogge’s death on Sunday evening, with current president Thomas Bach paying tribute to his brilliant services

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Former International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has died at the age of 79, the IOC announced on Sunday evening.

After the news of his death was confirmed, current incumbent Thomas Bach was quick to hail Rogge’s work – and said that his “joy in sport was infectious.”

Rogge enjoyed a 12-year tenure in charge of the Olympic governing body from 2001 to 2013, and was in charge when the Games were awarded to London in 2012.

The Belgian, born in Ghent, also competed at three Olympic Games himself as a sailor back in 1968, 1972 and 1976.

During his sailing career, Rogge won 16 national titles, while he also played rugby for Belgium.

The IOC announced Jacques Rogge has passed away at the age of 79


AFP via Getty Images)

He became the IOC’s honorary president after leaving the post in 2013.

The IOC didn’t give any details regarding his death, but his health had visibly declined as he attended Olympic events since his presidency came to an end.

And after learning the tragic news of his death, Bach – alongside Sebastian Coe – paid tribute to Rogge, who presided over an era of political and financial stability in the Olympic movement following its worst ethics scandal and fought hard against the doping issues.

“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,” Bach said.

“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.

“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.”

IOC president Thomas Bach (pictured) paid tribute to Rogge following his death


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World Athletics president Coe, who led London 2012’s bid, tweeted: “I am beyond sad to hear the news of Jacques passing.

“I wrote to Jacques and Anne 2 weeks ago to tell them that all of us WorldAthletics missed them at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I said it wasn’t the same being in the Olympic stadium watching athletics without them…

“I have a mountainous gratitude for his part in the seamless delivery of London 2012. No Org Cttee could have asked or received more.

“He was passionate about sport & all he achieved in sport & beyond was done with common decency, compassion and a level head. We will all miss him.”

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