Joao Havelange, one of the most influential men in modern sport – if not the most influential – has died overnight in Rio de Janeiro aged 100.
Havelange, former president of world football federation FIFA, IOC member and Olympic swimmer and waterpolo player, had played a key role in helping bring the current Olympic Games to his home city.
At the Copenhagen Session of the International Olympic Committee in 2009, with Rio competing against Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo, Havelange invited the Olympic family “to join me on the beach of Copacabana to celebrate my 100th birthday at the first Olympic Games in South America.”
In fact, Havelange was 100 on May 8. A ever-more-controversial figure after revelations of his role in the ISL scandal, Havelange’s name was the original title of the Engenhao stadium which, temporarily re-baptised at the Estadio Olimpico, is the stage for the athletics events at Rio 2016.
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