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 You are in: Special Events: 2001: Olympic Votes  
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  Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
The Olympic saviour?
Lord Killanin and Juan Antonio Samaranch
Killanin hands over to Samaranch in Moscow, 1980
BBC World Service Sports Correspondent Harry Peart reflects on Juan Antonio Samaranch's 21 years as head of the Olympic movement.

Juan Antonio Samaranch was born into a wealthy textile family in Barcelona, but his entry into the sporting world was less glamorous.

After achieving a university degree in commerce, he was at one time a sports journalist, and later became passionate about roller-hockey.

He also had political acumen and moved steadily through the ranks of General Franco's administration - a period of his life which still draws criticism from his opponents.

  Juan Antonio Samaranch
DOB: 17.07.1920
Joins IOC in 1966, takes presidency in 1980.
Highs:
Massive increase in profitability and lucrative marketing/TV deals.
Crowning glory of home Games in Barcelona ('92).
Fight for female participation, and against apartheid in sport.
Lows:
Over-commercialised Atlanta Games.
Salt Lake City 'gifts for votes' scandal.
'Nepotism' row over proposing his son for life membership.
 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
"At the age of 81 he's finally stepping aside, himself admitting he's kept going too long"
News from the IOC's 112th Session in Moscow

China gets first Games

Rogge wins presidency

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Olympic features

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BBC expert quizzed

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18 May 01 | Other Sports
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