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In memory of my chief and dear friend - former IOC President Count Jacques Rogge

Publish date:2021-8-31   Pageview: 798


On August 29th, the International Olympic Committee announces the passing of former IOC President Count Jacques Rogge.

I was elected a member of the IOC in 1988, while Rogge and The current President Bach were both elected members of the IOC in 1991. At that time, we were both young members of the IOC, and we naturally met together and talked regularly.

Rogge is a all-round gentleman, proficient in many languages. He is not only a doctor of sports medicine, but also a world champion. My wife, Liu Xin, and I have become good friends with Rogge couple because we are similar in age and have similar ideas.

I remember during our attending the Sydney Olympics in 2000, he had breakfast with me and told me of his plan to run for president of the International Olympic Committee. I assured him my full support. In 2001, he defeated Un-yong Kim from South Korean and was elected president of the International Olympic Committee, which lasted until 2013. During his 12-year presidency, he made great contributions to the reform and construction of the International Olympic Committee.

In early 2006, I decided to run for the president of the International Boxing Federation (AIBA). I traveled to Lausanne and met with Rogge. He gave me a lot of valuable advice. In November of that year, at the AIBA annual meeting in Dominica, I was elected president. The first phone call I received was from Rogge. He was on his way to Cuba. Knowing that I only won 4 votes, he said that even winning 1 vote meant winning, and he congratulated me for being the first incumbent member of the IOC who was successfully elected president of the Individual sports Federation.

During my career with IOC, I have been devoted to my work. As the chairman of the Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission, I was also elected as member of the IOC Executive Board in 2012 with the continuous support of Rogge, even though the competition had been fierce and I had failed twice.

In 2013, when President Rogge was about to retire, there was a great deal of enthusiasm among the IOC members to run for president, and I expressed my interest also. At that time, Rogge invited me to meet with him and offered me a lot of advice. I had been leading all candidates in international polls in the campaign while President Bach was elected in the end. I learned a lot of valuable experience from this election and made a great imprint in IOC history.

When Rogge retired as Honorary President, he broke his leg and his health was deteriorating, but he was still very much involved in all Olympic activities.

I would like to express my heartfelt condolences and gratitude to him for his lifelong dedication to the Olympic Movement.