(ATR) The former president of the Olympic Committee of El Salvador, Melecio Eduardo Rivera, has died of Covid-19 at the age of 82.
Melecio Rivera (COES)
Rivera's death could be the first due to the new coronavirus among leaders and former Olympic leaders in Latin America.
Rivera was an outstanding sports leader who transcended the borders of his country.
Rivera chaired the National Olympic Committee between 1987 and 1999. With that position he attended three Olympic Games: Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996. He also participated in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 on behalf of the International Table Tennis Federation.
The Salvadoran leader was involved in eight Pan American Games, nine Central American and Caribbean Games and in all editions of the Central American Games.
He chaired the Central American Sports Organization (ORDECA) between 1990 and 1994 and was a member of the Executive Committees of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CACSO) and of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).
Rivera was president of his country's National Table Tennis Federation, chaired the Latin American Union of this sport and was a member of the ITTF Executive. He provided his services to the Steering Committee of the National Institute of Sports, and was an important member of the Organizing Committee of the 1994 Central American Games in his country and the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador.
In 2008 he was awarded by PASO with the "Mario Vázquez Raña Order" for his outstanding services to Pan American sport.
After initial successful efforts to contain the coronavirus, El Salvador has now registered some 45,500 infected and more than 1,300 deaths.
The highest representatives of the National Olympic Committee and the National Sports Institute of El Salvador, together with those of Centro Caribe Sports and Panam Sports, have expressed their regret for the death of engineer Melecio Rivera, who remained an active Olympic servant in his country.
Written by Miguel Hernandez
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