National

Apr 21, 2010 10:44 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Former IOC president Samaranch dies at 89

Juan Antonio Samaranch, a former International Olympic Committee president, died Wednesday. He was 89.

The Quiron Hospital in Barcelona says Samaranch died after being admitted with heart problems. Samaranch headed the IOC from 1980 to 2001.

Samaranch's final moments of consciousness were spent watching tennis, a fitting end for a person who was once among the most powerful in sports. The former president of the International Olympic Committee, had been watching Rafael Nadal win the Monte Carlo Masters on television Sunday when his steady decline took hold.

Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. says his father "was feeling fine. There was nothing out of the ordinary. He watched Nadal's match - he loved tennis - and after the game he wasn't feeling great so we decided to come (to the hospital) around 6 or 7 at night."

Samaranch would spend his final days surrounded by family.

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