ROGGE Jacques (1942) Belgium / IOC
Jacques Rogge, a personable Belgian with immaculate political skills, was elected in 2001 to take the international Olympic Committee (IOC) into a new era. The 59-year-old surgeon succeeded former Spanish diplomat Juan Antonio Samaranch, who steps down after 21 years in the world's top sports post. Signaling a new beginning for an organization which was harshly criticized after the Salt Lake City bribery scandal, Rogge pledged to protect the Olympic movement against "doping, corruption and violence." Rogge also said doping remained the number one problem in sport. He also promised to stay in the Olympic village in future Games in a clear statement that the IOC, often perceived as aloof and arrogant, needed to get closer to the athletes.