Former IOC president Jacques Rogge passes away

Former IOC president Jacques Rogge passes away

Jacques Rogge, who led the International Olympic Committee for 12 years, has died at the age of 79. The IOC announced his passing Sunday without providing a cause of death. 

Rogge, a native of Belgium, succeeded Juan Antonio Samaranch (1980-2001) as the eighth president in the organization's history as the IOC recovered from the Salt Lake City corruption scandal. Current president Thomas Bach took over from Rogge in 2013. 

Before his presidency, Rogge headed the European group and Belgian Olympic committees. He was also an orthopedic surgeon with a degree in sports medicine. 

As an athlete, Rogge played rugby for the national team and won a Belgian championship. He was a successful sailor, with 16 national titles and one world championship; Rogge competed in the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympics in the men's Finn class. 

Rogge was elected president three days after the body awarded the 2008 Summer Games to Beijing, and he steered the first Olympics in China. Before the event, Rogge said the Chinese government would not censor the Internet for journalists, only for the IOC to retract the statement and admit Internet censorship.