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!