José Perurena: “We Have Lost a Loyal Friend”
The World Games Family deeply mourns the loss of Jacques Rogge. The former IOC President (2001 – 2013) died last Sunday at the age of 79. José Perurena, Rresident of the International World Games Association, paid tribute to Jacques Rogge in a letter to the IOC as a longtime companion and supporter of The World Games.
"We have lost a loyal friend. Jacques Rogge always listened to us during his time as an IOC member and IOC President. He worked for our Games in many ways and encouraged us to develop and enhance our event. Just as there is a close bond between Thomas Bach and myself today, my predecessor in office as President, Ron Froehlich, and Jacques Rogge worked closely and successfully together during their terms of office,” José Perurena wrote.
Not least thanks to Jacques Rogge’s support, the IWGA President stated, it was possible to establish The World Games on the stage of world sport. In 2000, the IWGA and the IOC agreed for the first time on a Memorandum of Understanding. After that, Jacques Rogge regularly attended the IWGA Board Meetings as an IOC representative. Ron Froehlich remembers the significance of his participation in these meetings: "He very quickly saw that financial support from the IOC would be very important for us, and would help to develop our Games as a springboard for our sports to become part of the Olympics. He also praised the principle of The World Games to make the athletes the center of attention."
As IOC President Jacques Rogge was a guest at two editions of The World Games. In 2005 in Duisburg/Germany and in 2013 in Cali/Colombia he led the IOC delegation and spoke during the opening ceremonies. He has been associated with the event itself since the first edition in 1981. At the premiere in Santa Clara in 1981, he served as Chef de Mission for his country, Belgium. As a former rugby player, Jacques Rogge had a special connection to The World Games, and World Rugby remains one of 39 members of the IWGA.
Jose Perurena: "In our thoughts, we are with his wife Anne and their children and grandchildren. The World Games family will always remember Jacques Rogge as one of the best volunteers for our event one could ever imagine. We are very grateful for this and will cherish his memory.”
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in The World Games.