Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nice guy in charge of the Olympics

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted

1956 This photograph of Juan Antonio Samaranch, Spanish sports official (b. 1920), former president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980 to 2001, was taken on this day. It shows Samaranch leading a fascist march through Barcelona, bearing a wreath, flanked by burning torches. This was on the 20th anniversary of the death of Spanish anarchist, Buenaventura Durruti y Domingo.

Samaranch is probably remembered for four main things: his fascist career, his long reign as president of the IOC, his commercialization of the Olympics, and the corruption among officials and athletes that the commercialization engendered.

Samaranch was, for years, a member of the fascist Falange party in Spain and a national councillor under the dictatorship of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. The Times of London wrote: he "proved expert at the mixture of obeisance to the regime and political manoeuvring necessary to progress through the [fascist] ranks". By 1975, when Franco died, Samaranch was the leading fascist in Barcelona, and an IOC Vice-President ...

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