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Samaranch: a good friend of China

2010-04-23 13:57 BJT

Samaranch once said the title "Chinese people's good friend", is one he cherishes the most. This good friend helped China become a participant and eventually the host of an Olympic Games.

Students at the middle school attached to the Central Institute of Art and Crafts hold candles during a memorial ceremony for the deceased former International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch in Beijing on April 22, 2010. Samaranch, who died in Barcelona on April 21, shared a number of unforgettable moments and relationships with China as its supporter and as "the old friend of the Chinese people." He paid a visit to the middle school during Beijing Olympics in 2008. [Photo/Xinhua]

Students at the middle school attached to the Central Institute of Art and Crafts 
hold candles during a memorial ceremony for the deceased former International 
Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch in Beijing on April 22, 
2010. Samaranch, who died in Barcelona on April 21, shared a number of unforgettable
 moments and relationships with China as its supporter and as "the old friend of the
 Chinese people." He paid a visit to the middle school during Beijing Olympics in 
2008. [Photo/Xinhua]

Gui Xiaozeng now with more on the legacy Samaranch leaves in China.

Samaranch and table tennis champion Deng Yaping, had a long friendship that bridged generations.

Deng Yaping, the Olympic table tennis champion, says, "I gave his secretary a call immediately after learning about his death. I felt a little better when I heard that he passed away peacefully."

After claiming the Olympic title in 1996 at the Atlanta Games, Deng Yaping accepted the gold medal from Samaranch. The former IOC president also kindly patted Deng's face as a sign of encouragement.