Bahamas Olympic Committee Mourns The Passing of Former IOC President

Bahamas Olympic Committee Mourns The Passing of Former IOC President

4/25/2010 7:24:00 AM
By Wellington Miller, President Bahamas Olympic Committee

Nassau, Bahamas - The Bahamas Olympic Committee along with member Federations joins the Olympic movement worldwide in mourning the passing of Former and Honorary President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch.

“President Samaranch took over the leadership when the Olympic movement was about to collapse. It was by his dictation, the athletes took ownership of the games when he founded the Athlete Commission in 1981. He listened and was capable of gathering consensus from all stake holders to reach an agreement in very difficult times within the Olympic movement.

He reformed the Olympic Games from amateurism and got the best athletes in the world to compete at the games; subsequently the Olympic Games became a global event. Incredibly, 205 National Olympic Committees and many thousands of athletes are able to compete in the most prestigious games in the world.

When his presidency came to a close, there were more member countries in the IOC than in the United Nations. President Samaranch ensured that a once all boys club, transformed to include female IOC members; female athletes were competing in the thousands, this was not always the case.

Thanks to Juan Antonio Samaranch the International Olympic Committee is known in the far corners of the world, the Olympic symbols may be one of the best recognized symbols in the globally.

The Secretary General of the Bahamas Olympic Committee and I had the opportunity to meet President Samaranch during the IOC Congress last year in Copenhagen, Denmark.

He was a very gentle and respectful man; although he dined with Kings and Queen he treated every one with much respect. Having attained the highest office in the Olympic movement I found him to be very accessible and accommodating.

The sporting fraternity globally has lost the greatest sports leader of the 20th century.

He will be sadly missed ………”

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