Former International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has died at the age of 79.
The IOC announced his death on Sunday, with current incumbent Thomas Bach saying: “His joy in sport was infectious.”
During Rogge’s 12-year tenure from 2001 to 2013, he awarded the 2012 Games to London, having also competed at three Olympics for Belgium as a sailor in 1968, 1972 and 1976.
Rogge was the eighth President of the IOC, from 2001 to 2013, after which he became Honorary President.
He was married to Anne, and leaves a son, a daughter and two grandchildren.
Rogge was an orthopaedic surgeon with a degree in sports medicine.
His sailing career saw him win 16 national titles, while he also played rugby for Belgium. He became the IOC’s honorary president after leaving the post in 2013.
After his career as an athlete he became President of the Belgian and European Olympic Committees, and was elected President of the IOC in 2001. After his IOC Presidency, he also served as a Special Envoy for Youth, Refugees and Sport to the United Nations.
World Athletics president Seb Coe said, “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 World Athletics 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.”
As a mark of respect, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast for five days at Olympic House, at The Olympic Museum and at all IOC properties, and the IOC invites all National Olympic Committees and International Federations to join in this gesture of remembrance and honour.