IOC condoles demise of ex FIS President Gian-Franco Kasper

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Olympic House in Lausanne (Photo: IOC)
Olympic House in Lausanne (Photo: IOC)

Lausanne [Switzerland], July 11 (ANI): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Sunday informed about the demise of IOC Honorary Member Gian-Franco Kasper. He was 77.

Kasper was an IOC Member from 2000 until 2018 when he was elected as an IOC Honorary Member and received the Olympic Order.

He was a long-standing President of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and had recently stepped down from the position after 23 years and six terms of office. His period at the helm of the organisation included five Olympic Winter Games: Salt Lake City 2002, Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014, and PyeongChang 2018.

IOC President Thomas Bach in a release said: "For the entire Olympic Movement and for me, Gian-Franco Kasper was the personification of modern ski sport. His achievements go far beyond his own sport and his own Federation. With all the reforms and adaptations in the past years under his leadership, he also changed the Olympic Winter Games. In all of this, he was always authentic. Nothing is more authentic than success, and the Olympic Movement has greatly benefited from Gian-Franco Kasper's success."

The Swiss national had a competitive sporting career in alpine and cross-country skiing, skeleton, bobsleigh, equestrian and water skiing, having also practised golf. With a degree in psychology, philosophy and journalism from the University of Zurich, he contributed to various newspapers and became editor of the St Moritz Kurier in Switzerland, in 1969. His involvement with the St Moritz tourist office led him to Canada to manage the Swiss National Tourist Office in Montreal.

During his term as an IOC Member, Kasper served on the IOC Executive Board and as Vice-President of Olympic Channel Services SA, Switzerland. He was also on the Coordination Commissions for all the Olympic Winter Games that took place during his FIS Presidency, plus the upcoming Beijing 2022 Games, and on the Future Host Commission tasked with exploring, creating and overseeing interest in future Olympic Winter Games, not to mention the Coordination Commissions for the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games Innsbruck 2012, which he chaired, and the second edition, Lillehammer 2016. His participation in other IOC commissions included the Radio and Television Commission and the Olympic Channel Commission.

The IOC has also expressed its deepest sympathies to Gian-Franco Kasper's family. As a mark of respect, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at Olympic House in Lausanne. (ANI)

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