EOC Statement on Loss of Former IOC and EOC President Jacques Rogge

31 August 2021

It is with profound sadness that the European Olympic Committees (EOC) has learned of the loss of former EOC and IOC President Jacques Rogge at the age of 79.

Rogge, who was also President of the Belgian Olympic Committee, served as President of the EOC from 1989 to 2001.

Count Rogge had a brilliant career as an athlete, initially in rugby and then in sailing, while continuing his activity as an orthopaedic surgeon with a degree in sports medicine.

In 2001 he was elected President of the IOC, where he continued his commitment to youth sport.

EOC President Spyros Capralos:

“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the news of former IOC and EOC President Jacques Rogge. He was and always will be a dear friend of the Olympic Movement, of sport, and especially the athletes, who he spent his career fighting to protect from the ills of doping, match-fixing and other forms of corruption.

Leading our Association for more than a decade, President Rogge launched the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in 1991 – a multisport event for Europe’s brightest young talents that is still going strong today. After becoming IOC President in 2001, he introduced the Youth Olympic Games to the world, just one of the many legacies he will long be remembered for.

As head of the EOC, he also attended several Olympic Games, including Barcelona 1992, Atalanta 1996 and Sydney 2000.

As a three-time Belgian Olympic sailor as well as a rugby player for his country’s national team, he always had sport and Europe close to his heart. The only thing closer was his family: his wife Anne, his two children and his four grandchildren.

On behalf of the entire Olympic Movement of Europe, I send my deepest condolences to President Rogge’s family and all those who came to know him and call him a friend.

He will be sorely missed.”

EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi:

“I first got to know Jacques Rogge well in the 1990s when he was President of the European Olympic Committees (1989-2001) and I was Secretary General of CONI (1993-2013). With our headquarters both being located in the same complex in Rome, we soon formed what would become a decades-long friendship.

And while our mandates at the EOC did not overlap, I nevertheless worked with him on a number of projects in Italy and throughout Europe.

I got to know him as a man of the highest values and integrity, a leader that listened intently to all sides, every piece of advice, and all suggestions before reaching his own conclusion and resolutely going about implementing it.

An upright person, he would use his platform instead to shine the spotlight on the people and issues he felt more deserving, in particular the athletes.

While the Olympic Movement of Europe first benefitted from his wisdom and guidance, the entire world soon got to experience them as well when he became IOC President in 2001, a post he held until 2013.

We have lost a true friend of sport, a true ambassador of the athletes and above all a truly class act who left an indelible mark on the Olympic Movement.”

The EOC sends its sincerest condolences to his wife Anne, children and grandchildren.

As a mark of respect, upon invitation from the IOC, the EOC flag will be flown at half-mast for five days at the EOC headquarters in Rome.