TOKYO – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on Monday paid tribute to the former International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge following his passing on Sunday.
Rogge was the eighth president of the IOC from 2001 to 2013. He passed away on Sunday at the age of 79.
“Jacques was always a passionate supporter of the Paralympic Movement and the Paralympic Games and will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. Our thoughts are very much with his wife Anne and family at this time,” IPC president Andrew Parsons said in a statement.
“During his time as IOC President, he signed several agreements that not only offered the IPC stability but enabled our organization to grow and flourish. We will forever be thankful for his assistance, as the IPC would not be the organization it is today without his support.
“In 2017, we recognized his services to the Paralympic Movement with our highest honor, the Paralympic Order. Today in Tokyo, we will recognize his passing by flying the Paralympic flag at half-mast at competition venues.”
‘An accomplished president’
IOC President Thomas Bach said Rogge was an accomplished president, helping “to modernize and transform the IOC.”
“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 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. The entire Olympic Movement will deeply mourn the loss of a great friend and a passionate fan of sport.”
Rogge was a Belgian rugby champion, a 16-time Belgian national champion, and a world champion in sailing. He also took part in three Olympic Games, in 1968, 1972 and 1976, in sailing.
After he finished his career as an athlete, he became President of the Belgian and European Olympic Committees.
In July 2001, he was elected the eighth President of the IOC and headed the organization until September 2013. Russia’s Sochi won the bid for hosting the Olympic Winter Games in 2014 under his presidency.
After the IOC Presidency, Rogge was a Special Envoy for Youth, Refugees and Sport to the United Nations. (Xinhua/TASS)