Juan Antonio Samaranch: From Barcelona Elite to the Olympic World

  • Jean-Loup Chappelet


This chapter summarises the life of Juan Antonio Samaranch (1920–2010) who was the president of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) for 21 years (1980–2001) and thus a major leader of world sport at his time. He transformed the IOC from a small, historical organisation founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894 to perpetuate the modern Olympic Games every four years into a sort of permanent government of world sport legitimised by an event which he rejuvenated (both Summer and Winter Games) through solid sponsorships and strong government involvement, and based on his keen interest in all elite and grassroots sports, first at the local level in Barcelona—his home city–at the national level in Franco’s Spain, and finally at the international level even after his retirement from the IOC Presidency.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP)University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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