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Mass held to pay tribute to Samaranch

2010-04-23 09:25 BJT

Close friends and sports heroes paid tribute to former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch on Thursday.

The coffin of the late former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch inside a car, top, arrives at the Palau of Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, April 22, 2010. Former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch died Wednesday at age 89 in the Quiron Hospital in his home city of Barcelona of cardio-respiratory failure three days after being admitted with heart problems.(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
The coffin of the late former International Olympic Committee 
president Juan Antonio Samaranch inside a car, top, arrives at the
 Palau of Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, April 22, 
2010. Former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio
 Samaranch died Wednesday at age 89 in the Quiron Hospital in his
 home city of Barcelona of cardio-respiratory failure three days 
after being admitted with heart problems.(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

About 100 friends, family members, and dignitaries attended a Mass at Catalonia state headquarters in Barcelona.

The 89-year old Samaranch died from heart failure on Wednesday. Samaranch's coffin was draped in the Olympic flag as it was brought into the mass behind the music of the Olympic hymn.

The Spaniard oversaw the end of amateurism at the Olympics and a surge in the popularity of the Games. He also dealt with the rise of doping and the Salt Lake City corruption scandal.

Current IOC President Jacques Rogge talked about Samaranch's legacy.