POSTED: September 5th 2013

Jacques Rogge leaving the IOC on a high note

Three time Olympian sailor Dr. Jacques Rogge has served as president of the IOC for 12 years. One eight year term and a re-election of four.
Three time Olympian sailor Dr. Jacques Rogge has served as president of the IOC for 12 years. One eight year term and a re-election of four.

LAURA WALDEN at the Hilton Buenos Aires / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) International Olympic Committee (IOC) President  Dr.  Jacques Rogge gave his final solo press briefing in Buenos Aires just days before the assembly will elect a new leader for the upcoming eight years.

Twelve years ago in Moscow, Rogge was in the hot seat for the first elections in over 20 years as Juan Antonio Samaranch stepped down after a long and successful leadership.

The Presidency, though the Olympic Games are one of the most exciting events on the planet, is also a highly demanding job that requires relentless traveling and constant politicking. Looking back on the Moscow days I think Rogge got more than he bargained for. Then the former sailor and Olympian had lead the European Olympic Committees (EOC) with Italian IOC member Mario Pescante for 12 years and his “Olympic Dream” was to take control of the helm of the IOC.

Today, as he met with members of the international media, and a number of them he knew very well as they have followed and interviewed him for decades all throughout the rise of his career. It was a turning point moment for all.

He looked back but overall was satisfied with his contribution over the years.

"Have I enjoyed it? Not always. Was it exciting? Definitely, and it was a privilege of course to be president," Rogge reflected. "You have good and bad moments but the fact is the biggest reward for me was the athletes welfare and in that I was successful."

"The moments that pleased me the most was appearing at the closing ceremonies for three Summer Games and three Winter ones as well as two Youth Olympics and being able to say that all were very good Games for the athletes. Athletes are the core of the Games.

"I'm a perfectionist, being an athlete you always strive to be better, so yes there are things which could have been better but I am glad that the athletes had very good Games which they competed in.

"The worst moment and one that I will never forget was the death of the Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili.”

Kumaritashvili was tragically killed during a training run the day of the opening ceremony of Vancouver 2010 and Rogge was notably stricken by the death of the Olympian.

He sees the next few days as emotional but he told the press he is not leaving without any nostalgia.

"I will look to the future. I will still attend IOC meetings as an honorary member. This is not a farewell to the IOC."

And finally he was asked about what he might have liked to have accomplished but wasn’t able to and he brought a ripple of laughter across the press room.

"It is not a matter that I wasn't able to, but I was not successful in going to bed early and sleeping late in the morning."

That resonated so well with the media as he leaves the session and the IOC on a high note.

Keywords · IOC · Olympics · Jacques Rogge · Buenos Aires

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