Jacques Rogge

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Count
Jacques Rogge
KCMG
14-01-10-tbh-263-jacques-rogge.jpg
Jacques Rogge
8th President of the International Olympic Committee
In office
16 July 2001 – 10 September 2013
Preceded by Juan Antonio Samaranch
Succeeded by Thomas Bach
Personal details
Born (1942-05-02) 2 May 1942 (age 71)
Ghent, Belgium
Nationality Belgian
Spouse(s) Anne Rogge, Countess Rogge
Children 2 sons
Alma mater University of Ghent
Profession Orthopedic surgeon
Sports administrator
Religion Roman Catholic

Jacques Rogge, Count Rogge, KCMG, (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɔɣə] ( ), born 2 May 1942) is a Belgian sports administrator and physician who served as the eighth President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 2001 to 2013.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Ghent, Belgium, under the Nazi-occupation, Rogge is by profession an orthopedic surgeon and was educated at the University of Ghent. Rogge competed in yachting in the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics, and played on the Belgian national rugby union team. In yachting (Finn-class) he won the world championships once and took second place twice, and was crowned Belgian champion sixteen times. He also won the Yachting World Cadet Trophy and took part in the regatta Ton Cup.[citation needed]

Rogge served as President of the Belgian Olympic Committee from 1989 to 1992, and as President of the European Olympic Committees from 1989 to 2001. He became a member of the IOC in 1991 and joined its Executive Board in 1998. He was knighted in 1992, and in 2002 made a Count in the Belgian nobility by King Albert II.[1] On February 25, 2014, The Princess Royal presented appointed him as an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) at Buckingham Palace for his years of service to the Olympics and in particular for his work on the London 2012 Olympic Games.[2]

In his free time, Rogge is known to admire modern art and is an avid reader of historical and scientific literature.[3] He is married to Anne; they have two adult children.[4] His son Philippe was the delegation leader of the Belgian Olympic Committee for the 2008 Summer Olympics.[citation needed]

President of the IOC[edit]

Jacques Rogge with Juan Antonio Samaranch and Vladimir Putin following Rogge's election as IOC President in 2001

Rogge was elected as President of the IOC on 16 July 2001 at the 112th IOC Session in Moscow as the successor to Juan Antonio Samaranch, who had previously led the IOC since 1980.

At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Rogge became the first ever IOC President to stay in the Olympic village, thereby enjoying closer contact with the athletes.[5]

In October 2009 he was re-elected for a new term as President of the IOC. In 2013 he was not eligible for a new term. In September 2013 at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires a new IOC President was elected.

During the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Rogge delivered a commemoration of Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili, after his fatal accident while practising at the Whistler Sliding Center on 12 February 2010.[citation needed]

In 2011, a Forbes Magazine list of the 68 most powerful people in the world listed Rogge at no. 67.[6]

On 27 July 2011, one year prior to London 2012, Rogge attended a ceremony at Trafalgar Square where, in accordance with tradition as President of the IOC, he invited athletes worldwide to compete in the forthcoming Olympic Games. Former Olympian HRH The Princess Royal unveiled medals up for grabs, after both Prime Minister David Cameron and the Mayor of London had given speeches.[7]

In December 2011, Jacques Rogge was invested as an Officer of the Légion d'honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.[8]

Jacques Rogge's IOC Presidency came to an end at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires. German Thomas Bach was elected as the new IOC President at the session on September 10, 2013.[9] He then went on to become the Honorary President of the IOC.[10]

Controversies[edit]

Chinese internet censorship

For the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, Rogge pronounced in mid-July 2008 that there would be no Internet censorship by Chinese government authorities: "for the first time, foreign media will be able to report freely and publish their work freely in China". However, by 30 July 2008, IOC spokesman Kevan Gosper had to retract this optimistic statement, announcing that the Internet would indeed be censored for journalists.[11] Gosper, who said he had not heard about this, suggested that high IOC officials (probably including the Dutch Hein Verbruggen and IOC Director of the Olympic Games, Gilbert Felli, and most likely with Rogge's knowledge) had made a secret deal with Chinese officials to allow the censorship, without the knowledge of either the press or most members of the IOC.[12] Rogge later denied that any such meeting had taken place, but failed to insist that China adhere to its prior assurances that the Internet would not be censored.

Criticism of Bolt's jubilation

Rogge commented that Usain Bolt's gestures of jubilation and excitement after winning the 100 meters in Beijing are "not the way we perceive being a champion," and also said "that he should show more respect for his competitors."[13] In response to his comments, Yahoo! Sports columnist, Dan Wetzel, who covered the Games, described him as "a classic stiff-collared bureaucrat," and further contended that "[the IOC] has made billions off athletes such as Bolt for years, yet he has to find someone to pick on".[14] In an interview with Irish Times' reporter Ian O'Riordan, Rogge clarified, "Maybe there was a little bit of a misunderstanding.... What he does before or after the race I have no problem with. I just thought that his gesticulation during the race was maybe a little disrespectful".[13]

Munich Massacre moment of silence

Rogge rejected calls for a minute of silence to be held to honor the 11 Israeli Olympians killed 40 years prior in the Munich Massacre, during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics. He did this despite the standing request of the families of the 11 Israeli Olympic team members and political pressure from the United States, Britain, and Germany, stating: "We feel that the opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident." Speaking of the decision, Israeli Olympian Shaul Ladany, who had survived the Munich Massacre, commented: "I do not understand. I do not understand, and I do not accept it."[15] Rogge and the IOC instead opted for a ceremony at Guildhall, London on 6 August, and one at Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base on the anniversary of the attack, 5 September.[16]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ www.coaf.us
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "2007 impressions," Het Laatste Nieuws, 31 December 2007
  4. ^ IOC Re-elects President Jacques Rogge
  5. ^ "Olympics; Rogge Given Authority To Cancel the Olympics". The New York Times. 21 September 2001. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "Forbes Powerful People". Forbes. 2011. 
  7. ^ www.bbc.co.uk
  8. ^ http://www.aroundtherings.com/articles/view.aspx?id=38849
  9. ^ Zaccardi, Nick. "Thomas Bach elected as ninth IOC president". NBC OlympicTalk. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Coates Becomes Vice President, DeFrantz Joins Executive Board and Rogge Is Honorary President
  11. ^ "IOC admits internet censorship deal with China – Radio Netherlands Worldwide – English". Radionetherlands.nl. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  12. ^ Gosper, Kevan (1 August 2008). "IOC lies on web access have hurt my reputation". The Australian. 
  13. ^ a b "One powerful man who does seem to be on top of things". Irish Times. 23 May 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  14. ^ Wetzel, Dan (24 August 2008). "Beijing Olympics’ winners and losers". Yahoo! Sports!. 
  15. ^ James Montague (September 5, 2012). "The Munich massacre: A survivor's story". CNN. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ Wilson, Stephen (21 July 2012). "1972 Olympics Munich Massacre Anniversary: IOC President Jacques Rogge Rules Out Minute Of Silence". Huffington Post. 
Civic offices
Preceded by
Raoul Mollet
President of the Belgian Olympic Committee (BOIC)
1989–1992
Succeeded by
Adrien Vanden Eede
Preceded by
Spain Juan Antonio Samaranch
President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
2001-2013
Succeeded by
Germany Thomas Bach