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Rogge gives himself pat on back

Updated: 2013-04-23 08:11
By Zhao Yinan and Zhang Min in Tianjin ( China Daily)

Rogge gives himself pat on back

IOC president happy with his performance over past 12 years

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge believes he has performed well during his watch over the world's most influential sports body for the past 12 years.

The 70-year-old Belgian, who is expected to step down from his lofty post in September, said he hopes when people look back on his work, they will say he passed on a sound and strong IOC to his successor.

Speaking of his legacy in Tianjin at the weekend, Rogge said it would take 10 or 20 years to judge his performance as "you don't define a legacy immediately after a person steps down".

The former Olympic yachtsman said he is proud of many things during his tenure.

"I think I can be happy with the quality of the Games that were organized during my watch," Rogge said

He said organizing the Olympic Games was the core business of the IOC and its moral obligation. He said he believed all the Games during his reign were of high quality and importance.

Rogge has overseen three summer Games and three winter Olympics since 2001, from Salt Lake City to London.

Rogge also said he was happy the IOC was in a very good financial situation.

"We have been able to raise money in spite of the economic crisis. And most of the money has been used to promote sports at the grassroots level, especially in developing countries."

Rogge said he believes the IOC had also been very strong in its fight against doping and was also happy about the creation of the Youth Olympic Games, which will be held in Nanjing in 2014.

"The IOC has a limit on age. I think this is a very sound and good rule. If you stay too long, you tend to repeat yourself, you tend to lose your creativity. It is good for the organization to have fresh blood."

Rogge made the remarks during a visit to Tianjin on Sunday, exactly three years after the death of Juan Antonio Samaranch. The Samaranch Memorial was opened in the northern port city.

Rogge said Samaranch had devoted much time and effort to China.

"Samaranch had an important role to play at the time when the IOC saw the return of China to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984. He also traveled many times to China to attend major competitions, which I have done also. He had the pleasure of seeing Beijing selected as the host city in 2001, while I had the pleasure to work with Liu Qi to see it work out."

Rogge also said it was very important to keep history alive, and to learn lessons from the past.

Wu Ching-kuo, an executive board member of the IOC from Taiwan, said the Samaranch Memorial would tell the story of Samaranch, including his youth, family and his 21-year tenure as head of the IOC.

"I think his biggest legacy is not merely the exhibits, it is the spirit that he has left us," said Wu.

The 144,000 square-meter memorial features a vast array of Olympic memorabilia that Samaranch collected and then donated to Wu shortly before his death. There are more than 16,000 items in the collection, but only 1,000 will be on display at any one time due to a special rotation policy.

Contact the writers at zhaoyinan@chinadaily.com.cn, zhangmin@chinadaily.com.cn.

(China Daily 04/23/2013 page23)

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