Sports\Team China

Hein Verbruggen, Beijing Olympics organizer, dies

By Lei Lei | | Updated: 2017-06-14 20:25

Hein Verbruggen, former president of the international cycling union (UCI) and Honorary Member of IOC, died Tuesday at the age of 75, the International Olympic Committee announced.

Joining the IOC in 1996, Verbruggen became an honorary member in 2008. He headed the Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2008 (2001) and became chairman of the Coordination Commission for Olympic Games Beijing 2008 (2001-2008).

The Dutch native visited Beijing many times while chairing the evaluation and coordination commissions for the 2008 Beijing Games. He was named Honorary Citizen of Beijing in 2009.

"Verbruggen played an instrumental role in supporting the Organizing Committee over the seven years of preparations, and hence contributed significantly to the success of the Games in Beijing," an IOC statement said on Wednesday.

"Hein Verbruggen was a fearless fighter for his sport. Thanks to his great engagement and his management skills, he greatly contributed to the success of the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 as chair of the Coordination Commission. For this he will be always remembered", said IOC President Thomas Bach.

Verbruggen started his career in sales before running his own consultancy business. In 1979, he joined the board of the Fédération Internationale de Cyclisme Professionnel (FICP) before becoming vice-President in 1982, and president in 1984.

He headed the UCI from 1991 to 2005.

As a representative of an international federation, he was a member of the Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2004 (1996-1997) and consequently sat on the Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens (1998-2001).

Throughout his career at the IOC, he was a member of the following commissions: Marketing (1997-2008), "IOC 2000" (1999), Olympic Truce (2000-2013) and IOC 2000 Reform Follow-up (2002), and was also chair of the board of directors of Olympic Broadcasting Services S.A. (Switzerland) (2003-2014).

He was a board member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) from 2000 to 2003, and represented the international federations on the foundation board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from 1999 to 2002.

The IOC also stated that "as a mark of respect, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at IOC Headquarters".

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