Xi Jinping sends condolences over passing of former IOC president Jacques Rogge

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday sent a message of condolence to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach over the passing of former IOC president Jacques Rogge.

Rogge, 79, served as the eighth president of the IOC from 2001 to 2013.

In his letter, Xi hailed Rogge’s role as an outstanding leader of the IOC who had devoted himself to promoting the Olympic sports and spirit. He made positive efforts in promoting the healthy development of the Olympic sports, especially for younger generations, that won compliments from around the world.

Calling Rogge a good friend of the Chinese people, Xi spoke highly of his support for China’s sports industry and his “important contributions” to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

A lifelong sports fan and accomplished athlete, Rogge was a world champion in sailing and competed in the sport at three Olympic Games in 1968, 1972 and 1976. He was also a former Belgian national rugby player.

After his career as an athlete, he became president of the Belgian and European Olympic Committees before being elected IOC president in 2001. He later served as a special envoy for youth, refugees and sports to the United Nations.

In his message, Xi added that China would work along with the IOC and the international community in making continuous efforts to the Olympic sports development.