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Juan Antonio Samaranch

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During Madrid 2016 presentation, he said his life was coming to an end. Unfortunately, he was right. Rest in peace, Samaranch :(

I wonder how this will affect Madrid's chances for 2020 or 2024 and/or the Spanish bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

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During Madrid 2016 presentation, he said his life was coming to an end. Unfortunately, he was right. Rest in peace, Samaranch :(

I wonder how this will affect Madrid's chances for 2020 or 2024 and/or the Spanish bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Unless Spain presents bids that are head and shoulders above the rest, I don't think Spanish bids will get as much support from hereon as the Madrid bid had last October.

Not only is it appropriate to spread the Games out to other cities/countries, but your chief ringleader, JAS, Sr., is gone from the IOC, and as the years move along, so will many of his allies and friends in same who I guess stood by him last October. Older members would probably feel that they already paid their dues to him and would not feel constrained at future votes to have to vote the way the old man wanted. And of course, the newer members would have no allegiance or fealty whatsoever to the old man.

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Despite the controversial parts of his life and his personality, there can be no doubt that Juan Antonio Samaranch was a great and tremendously successful IOC president. He transformed the Games from a doomed, boycott-ridden and money-losing event to the (mostly) profitable, peaceful, respected and professional event we know today. And it adds a nice touch to this sad occasion that his time as IOC president ended with one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) Summer Olympics, and now his life ended with one of the greatest Winter Olympics.

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IOC Press Release

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was deeply saddened to learn today of the death of Juan Antonio Samaranch, aged 89. He was widely credited with renewing and fundamentally changing the landscape of the Olympic Movement.

“I cannot find the words to express the distress of the Olympic Family,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “I am personally deeply saddened by the death of the man who built up the Olympic Games of the modern era, a man who inspired me, and whose knowledge of sport was truly exceptional. Thanks to his extraordinary vision and talent, Samaranch was the architect of a strong and unified Olympic Movement. I can only pay tribute to his tremendous achievements and legacy, and praise his genuine devotion to the Olympic Movement and its values. We have lost a great man, a mentor and a friend who dedicated his long and fulfilled life to Olympism.”

Born in Barcelona in 1920, Samaranch pursued an outstanding career as diplomat and sports administrator before leading the IOC for 21 years.

Soon after his election, Samaranch worked towards the abolition of amateurism at the Olympic Games. Despite two boycotts in Moscow in 1980 and in Los Angeles in 1984, Samaranch managed to maintain the quality of the Games and increase the number of participating countries. He was the man behind improving the financial health of the Olympic Movement, developing TV rights and sponsorship negotiations and strengthening Olympic Solidarity, the organ by which the IOC redistributes its revenue in order to ensure the training and participation of athletes at the Olympic Games.

A hugely energetic man, he was responsible for the new IOC headquarters building in Vidy and for inaugurating The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. He will also be remembered for championing the representation of women in the IOC, overseeing the entry of the first women members in the 1980s. He was likewise responsible for setting up the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and for involving the athletes themselves in the decision-making of the IOC by creating the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

A diplomat, Samaranch started his career as Municipal Councillor responsible for sport in the City of Barcelona. He then took on the role of National Delegate for Physical Education and Sport before becoming President of the Barcelona Diputación. He was appointed Spanish Ambassador to the former Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of Mongolia from 1977 to 1980.

Before his election as IOC President in Moscow in 1980, Samaranch had a long career in sports administration. He was a member and subsequently President of the Spanish National Olympic Committee from 1967 to 1970; President of the Spanish Skating Federation; and Chef de Mission at the Olympic Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo in 1956, in Rome in 1960 and in Tokyo in 1964. He was himself a keen rink hockey player.

The IOC has expressed its deepest sympathy to Juan Antonio Samaranch’s family.

http://www.olympic.org/en/content/Media/?articleId=78508&articleNewsGroup=-1

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Samaranch's legacy will always be mixed. He led the Olympic movement out of the fires of near political and financial ruin but almost destroyed all credibility with the excess and scandals that followed.

I've always felt that had Samaranch stepped aside after his triumphant Barcelona Olympics, he would have been forever viewed as the great Olympic saviour. I'm sure Dick Pound would have appreciated that, as well. Timing is everything and while 1992 was Elizabeth II's Annus Horribilis, it was old Juan's Annus Mirabilis.

Sleep well, old man...you've earned it.

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Per IOC's Twitter

RIP JAS!

Anyone else fairly disturbed by the idea your passing might be announced to the world on twitter?

An important figure in the Olympic movement, perhaps the most important in modern history - and probably a victim of his own success as we see in many sports that when one man dominates for so long (i.e. Bernie Ecclestone, Sebb Blatter), it does the organisation no favours at all.

And without being too disrespectful, I wonder if he passed six months ago ahead of the vote on 2016 whether Madrid may have got the nod ahead of Rio. I suspect the affections for Juan Antonio Samaranch may be greater in death than it was in life.

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After 9 decades Juan Antonio Samaranch Torello has passed away. The IOC president during the 1980s and 1990s decades has presided over six Summer Games and five Winter Games. Joao Havelange is probably his close personal friend, he must be deeply saddened by Samaranch's death. i always though of Mr. Samaranch as being in stone, but in reality, no person is in stone, not once, ever. i also thought of him as an influential person to the Olympic Movement. They should have renamed the Barcelona Olympic Stadium for Juan Samaranch instead of Lluis Companys. Joao Havelange has a stadium named after him in Rio de janeiro.

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And without being too disrespectful, I wonder if he passed six months ago ahead of the vote on 2016 whether Madrid may have got the nod ahead of Rio. I suspect the affections for Juan Antonio Samaranch may be greater in death than it was in life.

Indeed. I also wonder how this would affect Madrid's chances next time they bid, especially 2020 (after his 'appeal' in Copenhagen & also like you said "the affections for him may be greater in death than it was in life"), if they decide to go after those Games.

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Farewell to one of the most corrupt individuals sport has ever seen

Now can Sepp Blatter, Jack Warner & João Havelange please be taken from this earth also

Samaranch_599967a.jpg

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Farewell to one of the most corrupt individuals sport has ever seen

Now can Sepp Blatter, Jack Warner & João Havelange please be taken from this earth also

Samaranch_599967a.jpg

The man was a total Franco Facist, wasn't he?

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Well, nobody who prospered and rose to power under a regime like Franco's can have done so with their hands totally clean. But that's between his conscience and his ultimate judgement now (if such a thing does indeed happen).

As IOC head he was indeed a Giant. For better or for worse, there's no doubt that after, or maybe even level with, de Coubertin, he influenced the Olympics more than any other.

Ultimately, the state of the games when he took over, and the state of the games now with such landmark successful games as Lillehammer, Bacelona, Sydney, SLC and Vancouver, means that I, in the balance, would have to concede his legacy as positive.

But like any giant in any field, of course, it's also hard not to be ambivalent. You could say in his later years at the helm he was a victim of his own success, but he must have also seen how things were evolving, and at best chose to turn a blind eye to the corruptions. His own autocratic and aristocratic style certainly didn't do much to endear him to the masses.

At the end, it seemed like under him the IOC was dragged kicking and screaming to reform its problems, and while we liove debating just how venal an organisation it still is, or isn't, the fact is that attention and scrutiny of how it conducts its affairs is now widespread. For the present, I think it would be difficult for it to get as bad as it was in the 90s again.

He was nice to Sydney, and I think he really did love the Olympic movement as much as any of us does. He strived, and had the power, to mold it in his image. If any of us had that power, we should hope at least that we left a movement as successful and healthy as he did.

RIP Your Excellency!

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I too like some of the posters here have misgivings regarding Samaranch's fascist Franco past and corruption.

But let's give credit where it's due. He did take the Olympic movement where it was its lowest ebb from Montreal (the massive debt lingering for 3 decades) and Moscow (the US-led boycott depleting the competition) under Lord Killian's watch to a massive IOC bonanza filled with riches from corporations like the TOP program and TV deals. Good thing he hooked up with Peter Ueberroth on this when awarding the 1984 Summer Games to Los Angeles to start the Olympics as people like me know them as. The demand and interest became so high that new sports appeared on the program in both versions. Sure there were moments that were tacky but it was overall a great run. I do think it would have been better if he ended on a high with Barcelona, but he endured up to Sydney, which was IMO even better.

I remember that he wished the Games reach South America with Rio in contention at the time last year so that he would at least try to live to see it. But deep inside, I knew he wasn't going to make it to 2016.

Nobody can be saintly under Franco with a significant portfolio, as Sir Roltel says. Did wish things in the IOC were more democratic and transparent and be open to those possibilities, like being pro-active against corruption. As a "giant", he had his, as we say among us in the young, "haters"

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his death plea in copenhagen still leaves a bad taste for me.

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During Madrid 2016 presentation, he said his life was coming to an end. Unfortunately, he was right. Rest in peace, Samaranch :(

I wonder how this will affect Madrid's chances for 2020 or 2024 and/or the Spanish bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

I think this will affect, for sure, but I don't know if for the good or for the bad...

Maybe, for Rogge friends in IOC, now Madrid and Spain became a neutral member...

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:(

:) I am Glad you took the helm of the IOC when it needed a strong captain...

:) I am Glad you took a hard line against cheats...

:) I am Glad you guided the IOC from a nearly ready to collaps outfit to a successful commercial operation that is enjoyed by all...

You have attoned for your past, you left the planet with a symbol of hope for mankind better off from when you found it.

Close your eyes and rest in blissful peace Juan Antonio Samaranch. -_-

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