Good-bye, Mr. Samaranch

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former president of the International Olympic Committee, has passed. He was part of Rafa’s Olympic Medal ceremony and was also present this past year for the Davis Cup trophy ceremony. Samaranch led the IOC from 1980-2001 – years of extreme growth and increased popularity of the Olympic Games. It’s been reported that Mr. Samaranch was watching Rafa play in the Monte-Carlo final “when his steady decline took hold”.

“He was feeling fine. There was nothing out of the ordinary,” Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. said of his father, who was 89. “He watched Nadal’s match — he loved tennis — and after the game he wasn’t feeling great so we decided to come (to the hospital) around 6 or 7 at night.

Rafa has posted a tribute to Mr. Samaranch on Facebook:

Hola a todos. No suelo hacer muchos posts desde mi casa como sabeis, pero esta tarde hemos tenido una noticia triste y queria compartir con todos vosotros mis sentimientos. Hoy hemos sabido del fallecimiento de Juan Antonio Samaranch. Es una noticia muy triste para el deporte en general.

El Sr. Samaranch fue siempre una persona cercana a los deportistas y siempre tuvo un trato especial. Yo lo se porque conmigo fue siempre muy cercano y siempre, me mostro su simpatia y apoyo. Es una gran perdida. Mañana estare en Barcelona para acompañar a su familia y a familia del deporte en estos momentos tristes.

Hi everyone. I don’t usually post much when I am at home but today it is a sad day and wanted to share with you my feelings. I heard this afternoon about the bad news of Juan Antonio Samaranch leaving us. This is very sad news for the world of sports. He was a great man and someone very close to all of us.

I will travel tomorrow to Barcelona to be with his family, the sports family!

27 Responses

  1. MJ says:

    He really is the sweetest, lovliest boy ever…

  2. Karen says:

    This is indeed sad news about Mr Samaranch. I’ve not come across him before but he was obviously a very successful & well known man. As usual Rafa is more than happy to be of assistance to others, he’s so sweet. Just hope he doesn’t over tire himself!

  3. miri says:

    He seems to be either a love him or hate him kind of guy. Yes, he helped the Games regain popularity, but many believe he did so at the cost of their soul. (I’m one who wishes pros – yes, including Rafa – weren’t in the Games.)

    One thing that I think few people will argue is that he loved sports. He’s one of the few “stuffy old officials” I constantly saw in the crowd looking like he gave a darn about the competition he was watching.

    • k says:

      Today, Universiad is more like the original Olympic games. But on the other hand it is Samaranch that made Olympic games respected more than before. Otherwise Olympic games could share the faith of events like Davis Cup. Now, many organizations (like Universiad) benefits from this popularity.

      R.I.P Mr. Samaranch..

  4. Atch2 says:

    I couldn’t really remember his name when i saw him but it was often & i always thought he looked liked a friendly old man in the stands with the smile enjoying his sports. Rip.

    Very sweet & typical of Rafa to remember an elderly offical who supported sports & him.

  5. kyukee says:

    maybe he was a verdasco fan, and him losing badly was NOT good for his health. but kidding aside, great loss indeed. he’s done a lot for sports in general during his IOC reign.

  6. Isabelle says:

    My first thought was: What a way to go, watching Rafa win and set a new record on a beautiful day! As usual Rafa is a dear.

  7. robert says:

    Some 30 Spanish sportsmen & women took turns in carrying the coffin to the cathedral – Rafa among them:

    • CC says:

      That’s a nice gesture.

      It looks very awkward to carry. Well done, Rafa.

      • An says:

        Imagine… he wanted to not play this week in Barcelona to rest and enjoy some time at home and today he was already back in Barcelona to do what he must have felt had to be done…
        I love you, for being what you are, Rafa!

        • robert says:

          Someone else from Monte Carlo was in Barcelona today – Prince Albert II of Monaco. They showed on TV how Rafa and him exchanged a few words while standing behind the coffin in the cathedral.

  8. miri says:

    Comments from Rafa in the New York Times:

    “I came here above all to support the (Samaranch) family and show appreciation for everything he did for our sport,” Mallorca-born Nadal said.

    “He was able to revolutionize sport, until he became one of the most important people in the international Olympic movement,” the 23-year-old added. “He will always stay in our thoughts.”

    • Nana says:

      Rafa is such a good lad.

      Really sorry that I found it funny but it was kind of a long way to carry the coffin and Rafa looked like he had to do all the work, being stuck upfront and having to walk downstairs.

      Jokes aside, RIP Mr. Samaranch. Will always remember him being the old man with the prime seat at the Olympics.

  9. Keith says:

    Rafa is a sweetie.

    But strange no one mentioned Mr. Samaranch’s support for Franco? But then this is part of the “Pact of forgetting” they have in Spain; not all “forget” however I am sure.There or elsewhere.

    When will Lorca get a burial? After all some day I assume they will whish to bury decently their greatest modern poet when they discover which mass grave his body was dumped in.

    • miri says:

      I have seen plenty of news write-ups mentioning the Franco connection, but this site is about sports and not politics.

      • Keith says:

        “Man is by Nature a Political Animal.”

        Aristotle On Politics.

        Since Sport is part of the training in Virtue of the good Citizen it must follow that there is no separation possible between Politics and Sport. At any rate that is how one would apply Aristotles dictum. Hitler must of agreed with Aristotle as he walked out of the Olympic stadium when Jesse Owens won. A Black Man winning defied his Political conception of Sport.

        • Denizen says:

          Keith, inevitably sports and politics occasionally intersect, but more often they are distinct. Could you post the Twitter account of this Aristotle dude?

          • Keith says:

            Dear Denizen,

            I refer to Aristotle (Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης, Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC) .

            Namely the Great Philosopher –

            ” student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Together with Plato and Socrates (Plato’s teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. Aristotle’s writings constitute a first at creating a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics”.

            See Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and

            the Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy.

            Unfortunately he never twetted as it was before his time. But his works are public domain, and I am sure he would like Rafa;
            but would aim to expand his Education.

            • miri says:

              Dear Keith,

              I’m certain Denizen was quite aware of that and was joking.

              I said politics was off-topic here and yet you followed up with more. Please stop.


              • Keith says:

                Dear miri,

                Can you read minds?

                I assumed this was a joke but just in case I pointed Denizen in the right direction.

                As I lack the ability to read minds I took no chances.

                Spreading Knowlege is a public service.

                As I tried to point out this idea that Politics and the rest of life can be separated is rubbish. See the above sources for confirmation.

                Lots of Love

  10. Ch F says:

    It’s amazing how Rafa puts his heart into everything he does. Sometimes I think he’s so well-mannered that doing the right thing in the right way just comes naturally.

  11. Sofia says:

    He’s such a sweet guy. It warms my heart to know that there are people like this in the world.