POSTED: October 24th 2008

Rogge to stand again

Jacques Rogge: heading for four more years /
Jacques Rogge: heading for four more years /

KEIR RADNEDGE & LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

LAUSANNE: Dr Jacques Rogge is to stand for a second term as president of the International Olympic Committee.

Rogge had always made it clear he would consider his future at the head of the Olympic movement once the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games had been concluded.

The Games were generally considered to have been an overwhelming success despite the inevitable political controversies which surrounded and pursued the decision of the IOC to take the Games to China in the first place.

Rogge was elected initially on July 16, 2001 at the 112th Session of the IOC in Moscow in the first presidential election in 21 years and ran against Dick Pound (Canada), Pal Schmitt (Hungary, Un Yong Kim (South Korea), and Anita DeFrantz (United States).

His first term ran the statutory eight years while the second term is of four years. Changes in the statutes which followed the Salt Lake City corruption scandal means that a president may now serve a maximum of only two terms.

Confirmation of Rogge's determination to carry on was contained in a letter sent by him from Lausanne to all members of the IOC. It is not expected that anyone will stand against the 66-year-old Belgian orthopaedic surgeon when the decision falls due in Copenhagen next October.

Rogge succeeded Juan Antonio Samaranch, who had led the Olympic movement for 21 years, with a mandate to streamline the Games and address accusations of 'gigantism.'

One of his achievements has been the creation of the Youth Olympics which will launch in Singapore in 2010. The venue for the Winter Youth Games, to be staged in 2012, will be decided in December.

In 1990 he had originally idealized the highly successful European Youth Olympic Days (EYOD) now known as the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) during his tenure as president of the European Olympic Committees.

Rogge was born in Gent on May 2, 1942 and through his career as an orthopaedic surgeon and a sports medicine lecturer developed a strong interest in the fight against doping in sport. Before becoming IOC president he actively served as vice-chairman of the medical commission under compatriot Prince Alexandre de Merode.

He played rugby union for Belgium but reached a participatory pinnacle as a yachtsman at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games. He experienced the tragedy in Munich firsthand and consequently concerned himself with looking out for the safety and best conditions for the athletes.

After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US - as a statement of solidarity and reassurance over security measures - he choose to sleep in the Athletes' Village during the Salt Lake City Winter Games five months later.

In his new role at the head of the IOC Rogge also motioned to make outgoing president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, honorary IOC president.

He became president of the EOC in 1989 and a member of the IOC in 1991 before being voted on to the executive board in 1998. He was co-ordination commission chairman for the Games of 2000 in Sydney and 2004 in Athens.

Keywords · Jacques Rogge · president · IOC · International Olympic Committee

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