Former President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge has died aged 79

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Rogge represented Belgium in rugby and was world champion in sailing. He competed in the Finn class at three Olympic Games from 1968 to 1976.

Jacques Rogge, the Belgian Olympic sailor and orthopedic surgeon who led the International Olympic Committee as president for 12 years, has passed away. He was 79 years old.

The IOC announced his death on Sunday without giving details. Rogge’s health had visibly deteriorated while attending Olympic events since his presidency ended in 2013.

“First and foremost, Jacques loved sports and being with athletes – and he passed that passion on to everyone who knew him,” Thomas Bach, Rogge’s successor as President, said in an IOC statement. “His joy in the sport was contagious.”

“He will be particularly remembered for championing youth sport and inaugurating the Youth Olympic Games,” said Bach.

Rogge represented Belgium in rugby and was world champion in sailing. He competed in the Finn class at three Olympic Games from 1968 to 1976.

He headed the European Group of Olympic Committees before being elected eighth IOC President in 2001.

The IOC has stated that the Olympic flag will be half-masted for five days at Olympic House in Lausanne.

Rogge leaves behind a wife, Anne, a son, a daughter and two grandchildren.

“Following a private family ceremony, a public memorial service will take place later in the year,” said the IOC, “where members and friends of the Olympic Movement can remember his life and his great contribution to sport”.


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