Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Juan Antonio Samaranch Died at 89 Years Old

Juan Antonio Samaranch

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former International Olympic Committee president, has passed away today April 21. He was 89 years old. From BBC

Former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch has died in hospital after being taken ill at the weekend.

The 89-year-old was admitted to the Quiron Hospital in Barcelona where he was being treated for heart problems.

The Spaniard was widely regarded as the most powerful man in sport when he headed the IOC from 1980 to 2001.

Born in Barcelona on 17 July, 1920, Samaranch enjoyed success as a roller-skater and led the Spanish team to the world title.

He pursued a career in sports politics in fascist dictator Francisco Franco's Spain and won a place on the IOC in 1966.
After Franco's death, Samaranch was appointed ambassador to the Soviet Union and the contacts he made there helped him succeed Lord Killanin as IOC president in 1980. He oversaw the commercialisation of the Olympics during the 1980s and 1990s and established the Games as a world force.


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