Former IOC President Jacques Rogge Dies at 79

Jacques Rogge, who served as president of the International Olympic Committee for 12 years, died at the age of 79, the IOC announced Sunday.

Rogge was a multi-time Olympian in sailing (1968, 1972, 1976), in which he was also a 16-time Belgian national champion. The former orthopedic surgeon also played rugby for the Belgian national team.

Prior to serving as the eighth president of the IOC from 2001 to 2013, he was president of the Belgian and European Olympic Committees. After his time with the IOC, he was a special envoy to the United Nations for youth, refugees and sport. Rogge was also named honorary president of the IOC in 2013.

In 2017, he was awarded the Paralympic Order by the International Paralympic Committee for providing IOC support for the organization, saving it from financial disaster.

“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,” current IOC President Thomas Bach said. “He was also a fierce proponent of clean sport, and fought tirelessly against the evils of doping.”

Rogge is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter, and two grandchildren.

For the next five days, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at Olympic House, at The Olympic Museum and at all IOC properties, the IOC said. A public memorial will be held later this year.

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About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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