IOC President Thomas Bach says: “I got to know Desmond Tutu in 1996 as passionate lover of the Olympic Games and sports. He always emphasized the power of sports to bring people together. In all the meetings I had with him he was always appreciating the great contribution of the Olympic Games to the peace and understanding. It was his fervent wish that he could still see the Olympic Games being celebrated in his beloved South Africa.”
Tutu was one of the leaders of the candidature of Cape Town for the Olympic Games 2004. He attended numerous editions of the Olympic Games and, as a lover of sport, many sports events in South Africa and across the world.
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In 2002 he represented the African continent as one of the flag bearers of the Olympic flag in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake City 2002. He took part as well at the flame lighting ceremony for the Olympic Games Athens in 2004 in Ancient Olympia.
Bach adds: “Desmond Tutu was a firm believer in the Olympic values and a man full of humanity, humility and with wonderful sense of humor, which made every conversation with him not only inspiring but also pleasant and unforgettable.”
The IOC and the entire Olympic Movement will always honor his memory. Our thoughts are with his wife, his entire family and his many friends around the globe.
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