The Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) welcomed International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach to Ljubljana, Slovenia for a ceremony to commemorate and celebrate the life of EOC President Janez Kocijančič, who passed away on 1 June.
The ceremony was held at the Grand Hotel Union in the presence of Kocijančič’s wife Andreja and daughter Nike.
“I have hardly heard anybody speak so convincingly about the importance of sport for education, for solidarity, for social values, for bridging the gap between peoples. Or as they would say now, against any form of discrimination,” President Bach said. “And Janez was not only speaking of this, he was living these values.
“He was one of the most valuable advisors within the Olympic Movement,” he continued. “One who was able to look at situations from a different angle sometimes, who gave you ideas on how to also approach a challenge. And this was something I will always appreciate.”
At the ceremony, Kocijančič was posthumously awarded the EOC Order of Merit in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the cause of European sport and his faithfulness to the Olympic ideals. EOC ExCo Member Zlatko Matesa presented the Order to Kocijančič’s wife and daughter together with President Bach, EOC Acting President Niels Nygaard, EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi, EOC Acting Treasurer Peter Mennel, Slovenian Minister of Education, Science and Sport Dr. Simona Kustec and the President of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia Association of Sports Federations Bogdan Gabrovec.