Juan Antonio Samaranch
Juan Antonio Samaranch
Joan Antoni Samaranch
|Samaranch at the 2000 Summer Olympics|
|7th President of the International Olympic Committee|
1980 – 16 July 2001
|Preceded by||Michael Morris|
|Succeeded by||Jacques Rogge|
17 July 1920|
|Died||21 April 2010
|Spouse(s)||Maria Teresa Salisachs Rowe (1955–2000; her death)|
|Children||Juan Antonio, Maria Teresa|
Don Juan Antonio Samaranch y Torelló, 1st Marquis of Samaranch, Grandee of Spain (17 July 1920 – 21 April 2010), was a Spanish sports administrator who served as the seventh President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980 to 2001. Samaranch served the second longest term as the head of the IOC, the longest being that of Pierre de Coubertin (29 years).
Samaranch was born into a wealthy family in Barcelona. He studied at the local Swiss School and at the German School of Barcelona. As a child, he was a keen roller hockey player. During the Spanish Civil War, he was conscripted into the Republican forces in 1938, at the age of 18, to serve as a medical orderly. However, he was politically opposed to the Republic, and escaped to France. He quickly returned to Nationalist Spain under Francisco Franco and enrolled in the Spanish fascist movement Falange.
Business and political career
After the defeat of the Republic in 1939, Samaranch studied commerce at IESE Business School in Barcelona. He had a short career as a sports journalist for La Prensa, which ended in his dismissal in 1943 for criticizing the supporters of Real Madrid C.F. after that club's 11–1 defeat of FC Barcelona, and then joined his family's textile business. He joined the board of La Caixa, Spain's largest savings bank, in 1984, and served as President of the board from 1987 to 1999. He remained as honorary president from his retirement in 1999 to his death.
Samaranch served on the municipal government of Barcelona, with responsibility for sports, from 1955 to 1962. He was a procurador (member of the lower house) of the Cortes Españolas during the last decade of the Franco regime, from 1964 until the restoration of democracy in 1977. From 1967 to 1971, he also served as "national delegate" (minister) for sports, and from 1973 to 1977 he was the president of the diputación (governing council) of the Province of Barcelona. He was appointed Spanish ambassador to the Soviet Union and Mongolia in 1977, immediately after the restoration of diplomatic relations between the countries: this post helped him to gain the support of the Soviet bloc countries in the election to the presidency of the IOC, held in Moscow in 1980.
He had been the chef de mission of the Spanish team at a number of Olympic events, before he was appointed Government Secretary for Sports by Spanish Head of State Francisco Franco in 1967. He also became the president of the Spanish National Olympic Committee and a member of the IOC. He was vice-president of the IOC from 1974 to 1978.
During his term, Samaranch made the Olympic Games financially healthy, with big television deals and sponsorships. Although the 1984 Summer Olympics were still boycotted by the Soviet bloc, the number of IOC participating member nations increased at every Games during Samaranch's presidency. Samaranch also wanted the best athletes to compete in the Olympics, which led to the gradual acceptance of professional athletes.
One achievement of Samaranch was the financial rescue of the IOC, which was in financial crisis in the 1970s. The games themselves were such a burden on host cities that it appeared that no host would be found for future Olympiads. Under Samaranch, the IOC revamped its sponsorship arrangements (choosing to go with global sponsors rather than allowing each national federation to take local ones), and new broadcasting deals, commercialising the Olympics and making them more economically viable.
He was awarded the 1990 Seoul Peace Prize.
It became a tradition for Samaranch, when giving the President's address at the close of each Summer Olympics, to praise the organizers at each Olympiad for putting on "the best ever" Games. He withheld this phrase only once, at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta where the organization had come under heavy criticism.
In the aftermath of a bribery scandal surrounding the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, an inquiry held in camera expelled several IOC members, but cleared Samaranch of wrongdoing. Samaranch set up a commission to investigate the corruption and introduced reform of the bid process as a result of the scandal.
In 2001, Samaranch did not apply for the presidency again. He was succeeded by Jacques Rogge. He then became Honorary President for Life of the International Olympic Committee. Samaranch served the second longest term as the head of the IOC, 21 years, the longest being that of Pierre de Coubertin (29 years). Following his retirement, Samaranch played a major role in Madrid's bid for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, though both were unsuccessful. In 1991, he was raised into the Spanish nobility by King Juan Carlos of Spain and given the hereditary title of Marqués de Samaranch (Marquis of Samaranch), together with the dignity Grande de España (English: Grandee of Spain), this in recognition of his contribution to the Olympic movement.
Samaranch married Maria Teresa Salisachs Rowe, known as "Bibí" (26 December 1931 – 16 September 2000), on 1 December 1955. She died in Spain while he was attending the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Two children were born of this marriage: his eldest child and daughter, Maria Teresa Samaranch Salisachs (born 1956), has been president of the Spanish Federation of Sports on Ice since 2005, while his youngest child and son, Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs (born 1959), has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 2001.
Samaranch died of cardio-respiratory failure in the Hospital Quirón in Barcelona on 21 April 2010, having suffered ill health for several years prior to his death.
As a recipient of the Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Samaranch was laid in state in the Palau de la Generalitat. His funeral mass was in the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, on 22 April 2010 and was attended by representatives of the Spanish royal family and of the Olympic movement. He was buried at the Montjuïc Cemetery. After his death, in June 2010 the Olympic and Sports Museum Joan Antoni Samaranch and the Olympic Hall Zetra in Sarajevo were renamed in his honour.
Honours and awards
- Commander with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (1994)
- Grand Gold Medal with Star for Services to the Republic of Austria (1994)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III (1980, Spain)
- Order of the Yugoslav Flag with Sash (09.01.1984, Yugoslavia)
- Gold Medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya (1985)
- Order of Friendship of Peoples (Soviet Union, 1994)
- Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, First Class (2003, Estonia)
- Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (2000)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Grand Order of King Tomislav ("Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee, which included the Croatian Olympic sport in the great community of the Olympic movement worldwide, contributing to the international recognition of sovereign and independent Republic of Croatia. Its merit is that it has enabled the Croatian athletes for the first time in history to use their national symbols in the Olympics in Albertville and Barcelona, and are thus permanently incorporated in the global Olympic family. Another exception is the act have included the Republic of Croatia in the International Olympic Committee before it was invited as a member of the United Nations." – 26 August 1993)
- Order of the Golden Fleece (Georgia) – 2001
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas (Lithuania, 4 April 1994)
- Order of the Republic (Moldova) (14 May 1999)
- Order of Honour (Russia, 25 June 2001)
- Order of the White Double Cross, 1st Class (Slovakia, 2000)
- Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise Third class (Ukraine, 21 May 2005)
- Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, First Class (1981)
- In 1982 he was awarded the Cup Stadium for the promotion of Spanish sport.
- In 1985 he received the Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalonia
- In 1988 he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports and the Peace Prize awarded by South Korea.
- Member of the Académie Française des Sports
- In 1986 he was named president of the credit institution La Caixa, which was already a member advisor since 1984.
- In 1991 he was awarded the noble title of Marquis of Samaranch
- Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Alicante (1992), University of Huelva, Universidad Camilo José Cela (2002) and Universidad Europea de Madrid (2009)
- Honorary Member of the Club de Santander Palomar
- Obituary The Times, 22 April 2010.
- Obituary The Guardian, 22 April 2010.
- Juan Antonio Samaranch – The Independent Obituary – 22 April 2010 (By Martin Childs)
- IAAF mourns the passing of Juan Antonio Samaranch IAAF.org. 21 April 2010.
- "La larga carrera de un hombre polifacético", El País, 21 April 2010. (Spanish)
- Olympic Review N154. August 1980. pp. 410–412.
- "Ex-Olympic chief Juan Antonio Samaranch dies". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 21 April 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- Kuper, Simon (29 September 2007). "Beijing strikes gold in the propaganda Olympics". Financial Times. p. 10.
- "The Coca Cola Olympics". The Irish Times. 5 August 1996. p. 15.
- Boletin Oficial del Estado: Royal Decree 1861/1991
- "Juan Antonio Samaranch mor a Barcelona", El Periódico de Catalunya, 21 April 2010.
- "Los Reyes y las Infantas acudirán al funeral de Samaranch", ABC, 21 April 2010. (Spanish)
- Rogers, Ian [et al.] (22 April 2010). "Samaranch given state-like funeral in Barcelona". Reuters. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- http://www.sportministerium.at/files/doc/Auszeichnungen-Ehrungen/Hall-of-Fame.pdf (German)
- Slovak republic website, State honours : 1st Class in 2000 (click on "Holders of the Order of the 1st Class White Double Cross" to see the holders' table)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Juan Antonio Samaranch.|
- Juan Antonio Samaranch and Olympism
- Page on Samaranch's links to the Franco regime by Andrew Jennings
- Juan Antonio Samaranch at the Internet Movie Database
- Juan Antonio Samaranch at HoqueiPatins.cat (Catalan)
|Prince of Asturias Award for Sports
|President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
|New title||Marquis of Samaranch
Maria Teresa Samaranch