In a moving memorial service at the Grand Union Hotel in Ljubljana, Slovenia, friends, family and colleagues from around the world paid their final respects to European Olympic Committees (EOC) President Janez Kocijančič, who passed away on 1 June.
“The Olympic Movement of Europe has lost a great leader and we have all lost a dear and kind friend,” said EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi. “He was a profound believer in the power of sport for good, and tirelessly worked to promote Olympic values and ideals in the certainty that they can help provide our youth with a better tomorrow. He did so with unparalleled wisdom, and we pledge to continue his good work in honour of his memory.
“Aside from his outstanding qualities as a leader, his immeasurable knowledge of sport and of the Olympic Movement in particular, Janez was an immensely kind and compassionate person, a characteristic that endeared him to everyone who worked with him.
“Ours is a great loss but nothing compared to the loss his death represents for his family. Our Olympic solidarity, a value so close to Janez’s heart, thus goes to his family, and in particular his beloved wife Andreja and their children.”
The service, which was organised jointly by the Olympic Committee of Slovenia Association of Sports Federations and the Ski Association of Slovenia, brought together members of the sports family from all corners of the world to pay their respects.
Joining Secretary General Pagnozzi in paying tribute were an EOC delegation consisting of Executive Committee (ExCo) Members Zlatko Mateša and Peter Mennel and staff from the EOC headquarters, representatives from the International Olympic Committee and European National Olympic Committees, including Krisztian Kulcsar and Balint Vekassy, respectively President and Secretary General of the Hungarian Olympic Committee.