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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-04-21

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek leadership remembers Juan Antonio Samaranch

  • [01] Greek leadership remembers Juan Antonio Samaranch

    (ANA-MPA) -- Greek leaders on Wednesday issued condolences on the occasion of the death of former International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch, as the distinguished Spaniard was remembered as a staunch supporter of the Olympic idea over the past decades and as a philhellene.

    "Juan Antonio Samaranch was a major personality of international sports. He devoted his life to the transformation of the Olympic movement and served international sports from many positions with great success, including during his long tenure at the helm of the IOC," Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said on Wednesday.

    Papandreou emphasised that the Barcelona native is forever linked with Greece and the effort to first win the right to host the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, as well as the subsequent endeavor to successfully organise the Games.

    "It was from his mouth that we heard the decision awarding the 2004 Olympic Games to our country," Papandreou said, adding: "He (Samaranch) was an invaluable supporter to this effort."

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) MP and former Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos said the passing of Samaranch -- one of the longest-serving IOC presidents -- marks the end of an era for the international Olympic movement.

    Avramopoulos worked closely with Samaranch when Athens was a candidate host-city of the 2004 Olympic Games.

    He underlined that Samaranch, with his "inspired efforts, managed to reshape the Olympic Games and give indisputable prestige to the Olympic movement."

    "Greece recognises his contribution to the success of its efforts to become the host of the Olympic Games in 2004 and also his deep feelings for the country," Avramopoulos said.

    On his part, Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis issued a statement noting that "today the Olympic movement is mourning the loss of a man who played a defining role in its revival.

    "Juan Antonio Samaranch was a visionary for Olympism and a true friend of Greece. As the mayor of Athens, the historic headquarters of the World Union of Olympic Cities, I would like to convey my sincerest condolences to the entire Olympic family."

    Finally, Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) President Spyros Kapralos expressed his condolences over the 89-year-old Samaranch's passing.

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