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04-20-2010, 07:56 PM
Apr 20, 12:38 PM EDT

Samaranch in 'very serious' condition in hospital

AP Sports Writer

AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer

Olympics News
Samaranch in 'very serious' condition in hospital

MADRID (AP) -- Former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch was in "very serious" condition Tuesday in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Barcelona.

Quiron Hospital chief of internal medicine Rafael Esteban said the 89-year-old Spaniard was under observation for heart problems. He has been bothered by health issues for several years.

"Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch Torello has been admitted to the Quiron Hospital of Barcelona with an acute coronary insufficiency," Esteban said in a statement. "He is currently in intensive care and his prognosis is very serious."

Samaranch, who headed the IOC from 1980-2001, was hospitalized for 11 days in Switzerland in 2001 with "extreme fatigue" after returning from an IOC session in Moscow, where Jacques Rogge was elected as his successor.

He was also hospitalized shortly afterward in Barcelona for what was described as high blood pressure. He has received regular dialysis treatment for kidney trouble.

Samaranch spent two days in a hospital in Madrid in 2007 after a dizzy spell, and underwent hospital checks in Monaco in October after feeling ill at a sports conference.

Samaranch retired after 21 years as the second-longest serving president in the history of the IOC. His era was marked by political boycotts, the end of amateurism and the advent of professionalism, the explosion of commercialization, a boom in growth and popularity of the games, the scourge of doping and the Salt Lake City corruption scandal.

He considered stepping down after the 1992 Olympics in his home city of Barcelona and again after the centennial games in Atlanta in 1996. Each time, encouraged by his supporters, he chose to continue. Twice, he had the age limit changed to allow him to stay on.

Even in retirement, Samaranch remained active in Olympic circles and tried to help Madrid secure the 2012 and 2016 Games. Madrid finished third behind winner London and Paris in the vote for the 2012 Olympics, and second to Rio de Janeiro for 2016.


Associated Press writer Jorge Sainz contributed to this report.

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04-21-2010, 02:42 AM
Sorry to hear about his condition and hope he recovers soon.

04-21-2010, 01:10 PM
Unfortunately, Senor Samaranch did not recover. :( He was 89 years old.



RIP Mr. Samaranch. You were the face of the Olympics for me during all of my adult years.

04-21-2010, 01:13 PM
RIP :(

04-21-2010, 01:40 PM
sorry to hear he has past. R.I.P.

Aussie Willy
04-21-2010, 01:53 PM
These were the best games ever. RIP

Also Syd-den-ee!

04-21-2010, 02:23 PM
His daughter is President of the Spanish Federation of Ice Sports. My condolences to her. It's always hard to lose a parent whatever their age.


04-21-2010, 07:07 PM
I'm surprised he lived this long considering just *how* serious I'd heard his heart problems were. When you consider the stress being President of the IOC had to bring and that couldn't have helped his health problems during the latter years of his reign.

Condolences to his family and may he rest in peace.

04-21-2010, 07:18 PM
Condolences to the family. I feel he was great for the Olympic movment.

04-21-2010, 07:30 PM
Viva Olympics !

04-22-2010, 02:23 AM
RIP! I never knew much about him but being a huge Olympic nut, I knew his name very well!

Garden Kitty
04-22-2010, 03:11 AM
Christine Brennan's column about the conflicts in his personality. (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/christinebrennan/post/2010/04/samaranch-was-a-champion-for-women-in-the-olympic-movement/1)

04-22-2010, 03:40 PM
That was an interesting article.
All leaders have their faults.

He served the Olympic movement well; in the "old school" fashion.
Without his determination, they might not have survived.
Only time will tell whether the more recent leaders have done better.


04-22-2010, 09:53 PM
Que descanse en paz, Sr. Samaranch.

04-23-2010, 02:26 AM
Thanks for the link to the Christine Brennan article.

The Olympics would not be where they are in stature if not for Mr. Samaranch and there were certainly some great Olympics during his presidency.

My condolences to his family and those who worked with him. The Olympic torch has truly passed to the next generation.