Samaranch Foundation launched in Beijing

Updated: 2012-07-13 20:16


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BEIJING - A foundation named after late International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch was officially launched in Beijing on Friday, the 11th anniversary of the Chinese capital city's successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games.

IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., the son of the late President, explained that the main goals of the Foundation are "keeping and promoting the legacy of the relationship with China, supporting Olympism in the country, and contributing to increase cultural, economic and financial relations between Spain and China".

The Samaranch Foundation is a non-profit foundation registered in China. The original funds of the Foundation have been donated by Samaranch Family, International Olympic Committee, Chinese Olympic Committee, Beijing Olympic City Development Association, Spanish Government, Municipal Government of Barcelona, ANTA, Samsung China, Tibet Spring, China Post, Beijing Tourism Group, Taishan Sports and La Caixa.

"Known around the world, Juan Antonio Samaranch was one of those men who make their mark on their era, and whose influence is felt long after they have gone. It was thanks to his extraordinary vision and talent that the Olympic Movement became strong and unified, and his achievements will leave a legacy that will continue long into the future. Among his many remarkable accomplishments, he will be long remembered for making possible the return of China within the Olympic family and thus for promoting the Olympic Movement and its values throughout the country and in particular among the young people," IOC President Jacques Rogge said in his message to the launch of the foundation.

In 2013, the Samaranch Foundation will publish the official "Juan Antonio Samaranch biography", award Samaranch Scholarship, organize Samaranch Olympic Collection Forum and "Samaranch Trophy" Sport events, promote Sports for All concept in west China as well as celebrate 40th Anniversary of Establishment of Sino-Spain diplomatic relations with an Art Expo in two countries.

Juan Antonio Samaranch served as the seventh President of the IOC from 1980 to 2001. He died of cardio-respiratory failure in Barcelona on April 21, 2010.