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Jacques Rogge, former IOC president, dies at the age of 79

Rogge was president from 2001 to 2013, oversaw three summer and three winter games, and created the Youth Olympic Games.

“Jacques loved sport and being with athletes first and foremost – and he passed this passion on to everyone who knew him. His enjoyment of sport was infectious,” said IOC President Thomas Bach, who succeeded Rogges in an explanation.

Rogge was a rugby player who represented his home country Belgium on the national team. He also took part in sailing competitions and represented Belgium at the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968, in Munich in 1972 and in Montreal in 1976.

The orthopedic surgeon Rogge was an athlete representative on the National Olympic Committee of Belgium before he was its president from 1989 to 1992.

Rogge also headed the European Olympic Committee from 1989 to 2001 before he was elected President of the IOC to succeed Juan Antonio Samaranch.

“He was an accomplished president who helped modernize and transform the IOC,” Bach said in the statement. “He will be remembered for his commitment to youth sport and the opening of the Youth Olympic Games. He was also a passionate advocate of clean sport and tirelessly fought the evil of doping.”

Bach added, “The entire Olympic movement will deeply mourn the loss of a great friend and passionate sports fan.”

After Bach succeeded him, Rogge was made honorary president. He was also the United Nations’ special envoy for youth, refugees and sport.

Former IOC President Jacques Rogge watches the 132nd session of the International Olympic Committee ahead of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, on February 7, 2018.

Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics and former chairman of the London 2012 Olympic Organizing Committee, wrote on Twitter that he missed Rogge and his wife at the recent Tokyo Games.

“I am infinitely grateful to him for his role in making London 2012 run smoothly. No Org Cttee could have asked for or received more, ”Coe wrote. “He was passionate about the sport and everything he achieved in the sport and beyond was done with decency, compassion and a level head. We will all miss him.”

Rogge leaves behind his wife Anne, two children and two grandchildren, the IOC said.

The IOC announced that the Olympic flag will be hoisted half-staff for five days at its headquarters and museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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