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FIVB mourns the loss of Samaranch

The FIVB flags at half mast with the Volleyball statue donated to the FIVB by Mr. Samaranch

Lausanne, Switzerland, April 22, 2010 - The flags at the FIVB head office in Lausanne, Switzerland flew at half mast on Thursday out of respect for the former IOC president Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, whose funeral was held in Barcelona, Spain on Thursday.

Mr. Samaranch was remembered in a private ceremony watched by the Spaniard's family and a host of international figures and dignitaries before the funeral later in the day.

FIVB President Mr. Jizhong Wei had earlier said: “The passing of President Samaranch is a big loss particularly with regards to the Olympic movement. The FIVB has always considered him as a leader of not only the Olympic movement but also of the FIVB, who has guided Volleyball, especially Beach Volleyball to today's achievements.

“The FIVB family will always remember him as an excellent example of an international sports leader and as FIVB President, I have learnt a lot from President Samaranch. I remain always his student.

“President Samaranch was a very eminent sports leader in the history of Olympic and world sport. He has made the Olympic movement a unique platform where the people of the world can get together without political conflict, without ideological conflict and without economical dispute. The Olympic Games have reached today's high level all due to his personal initiative and effort.

“President Samaranch is the founder of the contemporary Olympic movement if Baron Coubertin was the founder of the modern Olympic movement.”

Born in Barcelona in 1920, Samaranch pursued an outstanding career as diplomat and sports administrator before leading the IOC for 21 years from 1980 to 2001. Before his election as IOC President in Moscow in 1980, Samaranch had a long career in sports administration. He was a member and subsequently President of the Spanish National Olympic Committee from 1967 to 1970; President of the Spanish Skating Federation; and Chef de Mission at the Olympic Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo in 1956, in Rome in 1960 and in Tokyo in 1964. He was himself a keen rink hockey player.


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