China bids goodbye to an 'old friend'

09:27, April 23, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Juan Antonio Samaranch, the former chief of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who died on Wednesday, shared a number of unforgettable moments and relationships with China as its supporter and as "the old friend of the Chinese people."

Samaranch, who died of heart failure at the age of 89 in Barcelona, led the IOC from 1980 - when China returned to the Olympics after more than two decades - until 2001, when Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympic Games.

Many Chinese remember Samaranch's affectionate pat on the cheek of Chinese table tennis super star Deng Yaping when he awarded her the women's singles gold medal at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. He then established a friendship with Deng after he was inspired by her aggressive playing style.

"I am shocked by the news," said Deng, a multiple Olympic gold medalist in table tennis. "I am very sad. As a sportsperson, he led the Olympic movement to a new peak, a new era."

President Hu Jintao sent a message of condolence to the IOC and Samaranch's family on Thursday, according to the foreign ministry, an honor that is usually reserved for heads of state.

"Mr Samaranch was the old friend and good friend of the Chinese people," said Hu in his message to the family and IOC. "He made great contributions to China's return to the IOC, the expansion of exchanges and cooperation between the IOC and China, and the China-Spain friendship, which we will never forget."


【1】 【2】 【3】

(Editor:intern1)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 26, a resident passes by a flower terrace decorated for the coming National Day. (Xinhua/Hang Xingwei)
  • The photo, taken on Sept. 26, shows the SWAT team ready for the joint exercise. (Xinhua/Wangkai)
  • Two metro trains in Shanghai collided Tuesday afternoon, and an identified number of passengers were injured in the accident, the Shanghai-based eastday.com reported. Equipment failures were believed to have caused the crash on the Line 10 subway, Xinhua quoted local subway operator as saying.
  • An employee at a gold store in Yiwu, located in east China's Zhejiang province, shows gold jewelry on Monday.(Xinhua/Zhang Jiancheng)
  • Tourists ride camels near China's largest desert lake Hongjiannao in Yulin, north China's Shaanx Province, Sept. 24, 2011. Hongjiannao is shrinking as a result of climate change and human activities, and may vanish in a few decades. Its lake area, which measured more than 6,700 hectares in 1996, has shrunk to 4,180 hectares. Its water level is declining by 20-30 centimeters annually and its water PH value has risen to 9.0-9.42 from 7.4-7.8. (Xinhua/Liu Yu)
  • Actors perform royal dance at the Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, Sept. 27, 2011. A ceremony commemorating the 38th South Korea Sightseeing Day was held in Gyeongbok Palace on Tuesday. (Xinhua/He Lulu)
Hot Forum Discussion