Lausanne, Nov 30 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday paid tributes to Henry Kissinger, the former United States Secretary of State, who passed at the age of 100.
Kissinger, who served as the Secretary of State of the United States of America from 1973 to 1977, became a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 1973. Some of the other many distinctions he received during his lifetime include the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Medal of Liberty in 1986.
The IOC extended its heartfelt condolences to Kissinger's family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.
"His memory will forever be cherished in the annals of Olympic history. As a mark of respect, the IOC Executive Board held a minute’s silence at the beginning of its meeting today, and the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast for three days at Olympic House in Lausanne," the IOC said in a release on Thursday.
A long-time friend of the Olympic Movement and sports enthusiast, Kissinger played a crucial role in proposing wide-ranging reforms to the IOC as a member of the Executive Committee of the IOC 2000 Commission, the IOC informed in a release on Thursday.
In 2002, he was appointed as an IOC Honour Member, a role in which he tirelessly advocated the power of the Olympic Games to bring the world together in peaceful competition.
During his decades-long tenure, his insights and guidance were instrumental in shaping the broader role of the IOC and the Olympic Games within society. Kissinger was recently awarded the Olympic Order, the IOC’s highest distinction.
Upon learning of his passing, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Henry Kissinger was an extraordinary man – and avid sports fan – who was a friend of the Olympic Movement for 25 years. Everybody knows about Henry Kissinger’s very sharp and analytical mind.
"He always impressed you with his genius, while at the same time making you feel completely at ease. He was a very empathetic person with a good sense of humour,” Bach was quoted as saying in a release on Thursday.
He added: “Henry Kissinger and I first met in 1998 when we were both members of the ‘IOC 2000’ reform commission. When I was elected IOC President in 2013, I approached him and asked whether he would be ready to advise the IOC and me, as he had done through the IOC 2000 Commission. He immediately said yes.
"Since then, we spoke regularly and became friends. He gave me invaluable advice on all the many geopolitical issues the world and sport had to face in recent years. I will greatly miss a brilliant man and a warm-hearted friend. My thoughts are with his beloved wife Nancy and all his family.”
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