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Jacques Rogge

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Jacques Rogge
Rogge in 2014
8th President of the International Olympic Committee
In office
16 July 2001 – 10 September 2013
Preceded byJuan Antonio Samaranch
Succeeded byThomas Bach
Honorary President of the International Olympic Committee
In office
10 September 2013 – 29 August 2021
PresidentThomas Bach
Preceded byvacant, last held by Juan Antonio Samaranch (2010)
Succeeded byvacant
Personal details
Jacques Jean Marie Rogge

(1942-05-02)2 May 1942
Ghent, Belgium
Died29 August 2021(2021-08-29) (aged 79)
Deinze, Belgium
Spouse(s)Anne Rogge, Countess Rogge
Alma materUniversity of Ghent
ProfessionOrthopedic surgeon
Sports administrator

Jacques Jean Marie Rogge, Count Rogge (French: [ʒɑk ʁɔɡ], Dutch: [ˈrɔɣə] ; 2 May 1942 – 29 August 2021) was a Belgian sports administrator and physician, who served as the 8th President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 2001 to 2013. In 2013, Rogge became the IOC's Honorary President, a lifetime position, which he held until his death from Parkinson's disease in August 2021.

Early life and career[edit]

Rogge was born on 2 May 1942 in Ghent, Belgium amid the Nazi German occupation during World War II. He is the son of Suzanne and Charles Rogge, an engineer. Rogge was by profession an orthopedic surgeon and was educated at the Jesuit private school Sint-Barbaracollege and the University of Ghent.[1]

Rogge was a noted athlete in his home country. He was a 16-time Belgian national champion in rugby and a one-time yachting world champion. He also competed in the Finn class of sailing on three Summer Olympic Games; in 1968, 1972, and 1976.[1]

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.[2] When Rogge stepped down as President of the IOC he was awarded by his successor a gold Olympic Order.[3]

President of the IOC (2001–2013)[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.[4]

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, Rogge was re-elected for a new term as President of the IOC. In September 2013 at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, German Thomas Bach (who had won a gold medal in fencing at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal) was elected as his successor.

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 he invited athletes worldwide to compete in the forthcoming Olympic Games. Former Olympians the Princess Royal and Sebastian Coe unveiled the medals up for grabs, after both Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson had given speeches.

In December 2011, Rogge was invested as an Officer of the Légion d'honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.[7]

On 10 September 2013, Rogge came to an end of his IOC presidency at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina after the session awarded the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics (Later postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic in Japan). German lawyer, former foil fencer, and Olympic gold medalist Thomas Bach was elected as the new IOC President at the session.[8] Rogge was then made Lifetime Honorary President of the IOC, a position which he held until his death in 2021.[9]


PRC internet censorship

For the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, People's Republic of China, Rogge pronounced in mid-July 2008 that there would be no Internet censorship by PRC 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, admitting that the Internet would indeed be censored for journalists.[10] 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 PRC officials to allow the censorship, without the knowledge of either the press or most members of the IOC.[11] Rogge later denied that any such meeting had taken place, but failed to insist that the PRC adhere to its prior assurances that the Internet would not be censored.

The play Dear Mr. Rogge, written by Dinah Lee Küng in 2012, depicts an imprisoned PRC dissident who wrote a letter challenging Rogge to walk from the Birds Nest stadium to Beijing Prison No. 2 in order to check the truth of Rogge's claim that hosting the Olympics would serve as a catalyst only for good in the country.[12]

Criticism of Bolt's jubilation

Rogge commented that Usain Bolt's gestures of jubilation and excitement[clarification needed] 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]

Later life[edit]

On 25 February 2014, the Princess Royal appointed him as an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) at the Buckingham Palace in London for his years of service to the Olympics and in particular for his work on 2012 London Summer Olympic Games.[17] On 28 April, Rogge was also appointed Special Envoy for Youth Refugees and Sport by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to help promote sport as an empowerment tool for youth from displaced and refugee communities towards peace, reconciliation, security, health, education, gender equality, and a more inclusive society.[18]

In his free time, Rogge was known to admire modern art and was an avid reader of historical and scientific literature.[19]

On 14 October 2016, British School of Brussels[20] opened its new sports center in Tervuren, Belgium. The building was opened and named after Rogge, titled in his honour as "Jacques Rogge Sports Centre".[21]

In 2017, the International Paralympic Committee awarded Rogge its highest honour the Paralympic Order for saving them from financial disaster.[22][23] Rogge received the International Fair Play Committee's lifetime achievement award, the Jean Borotra World Fair Play Trophy. The committee decided to name their youth award in honour of Rogge, calling it the Jacques Rogge Fair Play Trophy for The Youth.[24][25]

Personal life[edit]

Rogge married Anne Bovyn, and they had two children (Philippe and Caroline) and two grandchildren.


Rogge died from Parkinson's disease at his home in Deinze, Belgium on 29 August 2021, at the age of 79.[26][27][28]

Honours and titles[edit]

Rogge decorated by Medvedev into the Order of Friendship in 2011
Receiving knighthood from the Princess Royal, 2014

Rogge received these honours and titles in Belgium and abroad for his work:

Academic degrees[edit]

Rogge received several honorary degrees (honoris causa) :


  1. ^ a b Viner, Brian (27 July 2012). "Jacques Rogge: The quiet Olympian". Independent. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  2. ^ "College of Arms Foundation - Activities". Coaf.us. Archived from the original on 10 September 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Germany's Bach elected new IOC president". 10 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Rogge secures Olympic presidency". 16 July 2001.
  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.com. 2011. Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Rogge Awarded Legion of Honor; Arab Games End; Pin Points". Aroundtherings.com. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  8. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (10 September 2013). "Thomas Bach elected as ninth IOC president". NBC OlympicTalk. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  9. ^ "GamesBids.com - Coates Becomes Vice President, DeFrantz Joins Executive Board and Rogge is Honorary President". Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  10. ^ "IOC admits internet censorship deal with China – Radio Netherlands Worldwide – English". Radionetherlands.nl. 30 July 2008. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  11. ^ Gosper, Kevan (1 August 2008). "IOC lies on web access have hurt my reputation". The Australian. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  12. ^ Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Rogge-about-Olympics-Power-Truth-ebook/dp/B006UT0HSK
  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 (5 September 2012). "The Munich massacre: A survivor's story". CNN. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  16. ^ Wilson, Stephen (21 July 2012). "1972 Olympics Munich Massacre Anniversary: IOC President Jacques Rogge Rules Out Minute Of Silence". Huffington Post.
  17. ^ "HRH The Princess Royal honours Jacques Rogge at Buckingham Palace - News articles". GOV.UK. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Secretary-General Appoints Jacques Rogge of Belgium Special Envoy for Youth Refugees and Sport". Press release. United Nations. 28 April 2014.
  19. ^ "2007 impressions," Het Laatste Nieuws, 31 December 2007
  20. ^ "Sports Centre". www.britishschool.be. Archived from the original on 16 November 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  21. ^ "BSB's New Sports Centre will be named after Dr. Jacques Rogge". The British School of Brussels. Archived from the original on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  22. ^ a b "Paralympic Order presented to former IOC President Rogge". Paralympic Movement. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  23. ^ "Former IOC President Rogge awarded Paralympic Order". 10 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Former IOC President receives lifetime achievement award in Belgium". 30 November 2017.
  25. ^ "Jacques Rogge receives lifetime achievement award at World Fair Play Awards". 22 November 2017.
  26. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (30 August 2021). "Jacques Rogge, Who Led Olympic Committee, Dies at 79". The New York Times.
  27. ^ "IOC announces passing of former IOC President Jacques Rogge - Olympic News". 29 August 2021.
  28. ^ "Olympic leaders remember Jacques Rogge as a man of his word". 30 August 2021.
  29. ^ "Ook Jacques Rogge krijgt Franse eretitel van Sarkozy". HLN.be (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 13 May 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  30. ^ "Jacques Rogge Commandeur in de Orde van Oranje Nassau". Pers.nocnsf.nl. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  31. ^ "A lifetime dedicated to sport, Jacques Rogge passes away". International Table Tennis Federation. September 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  32. ^ "Henri reikt Jacques Rogge Grootkruis uit - Vorsten". Vorsten.nl. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  33. ^ "Doctors Honoris Causa".
  34. ^ "Jacques Rogge æresdoktor på SDU | Andre nyheder | Nyheder". Archived from the original on 30 August 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  35. ^ (in Lithuanian) http://docplayer.net/64867338-Jacques-rogge-doctor-honoris-causa-of-lithuanian-academy-of-physical-education-lietuvos-kuno-kulturos-akademijos-garbes-daktaras.html
  36. ^ "Dr Jacques ROGGE – "Doctor Honoris Causa" of the National University of Ukraine on Physical Education and Sport".
  37. ^ (in French) http://french.peopledaily.com.cn/Sports/4950487.html Archived 30 August 2019 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ (in French) https://www.olympic.org/fr/news/le-president-du-cio-fait-docteur-honoris-causa
  39. ^ (in Portuguese) https://www.dn.pt/desporto/outras-modalidades/interior/jacques-rogge-recebe-honoris-causa-no-porto-1419193.html
  40. ^ (in Spanish)https://www.elconfidencial.com/deportes/2009-01-20/bulgaria-otorga-a-jacques-rogge-el-titulo-de-doctor-honoris-causa_1068407/
  41. ^ "Jacques Rogge welcomed by Young Judoka in Oradea - Official Website of the Chinese Olympic Committee".
  42. ^ (in French) http://www.rma.ac.be/fr/rma-dhc(fr).html Archived 17 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  43. ^ "EUSA President receives honorary doctorate | EUSA".

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by President of the International Olympic Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Belgian Olympic Committee (BOIC)
Succeeded by