7. Jacques Rogge

President of the International Olympic Committee

Jacques Rogge     Photo: Joe Ciardiello

Determines Which sports exist

In 2001, when former orthopedic surgeon Jacques Rogge took over the presidency of the Inter-national Olympic Committee (IOC), the role was less than desirable. A bribery scandal at the Salt Lake City Games saw six board members expelled, and doping was on the upswing. But the mild-mannered Belgian, 69, a former world-champion yachtsman, has spent the ensuing decade methodically building the organization back up. The Olympics have more than doubled the number of drug tests, and the IOC’s controversial zero-tolerance policy has cost 18 athletes their medals on Rogge’s watch. He’s also advocated bringing the Games to developing countries, which is why Rio de Janeiro will host the first South American Olympics in 2016 and countries like Qatar and Azerbaijan are considering bids. Rogge’s other initiative: snow. He’s been more aggressive than any recent IOC president in seeking out new winter events. At the 2014 Sochi Games, athletes in the ski halfpipe, slopestyle snowboarding, and team luge will finally get their shot at a Wheaties box.

By the Numbers 3: Olympics Rogge sailed in; 12: new sports the IOC has added since April

Second Opinion “Rogge has definitely refreshed what the Olympics are all about by being open to new sports,” says Luke Bodensteiner, executive vice president for athletics with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard -Association. “When he started, he made a commitment to be very athlete focused, and he’s really lived up to that. At the end of day, it’s not about TV or marketing—it starts and ends with the athletes.”

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