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  • Rogge in Korea; Special Olympics Athlete Dies


    Jacques Rogge begins his visit to South Korea. (Getty Images)
    Rogge Visits Pyeongchang

    IOC President Jacques Rogge is in Pyeongchang for his first visit to the site of the 2018 Winter Games. He arrived Thursday after a visit and lunch at the Jincheon National Training Center where he met with Korean athletes at the center.

    Rogge will start Friday in Pyeongchang where the Special Olympics World Winter Games are taking place. He will helicopter back to Seoul for a heavily scheduled afternoon, his last day in Korea.

    The IOC President will hold a press conference followed by a meeting with Korean President-elect Geun Hye Park at her transition offices. Then he goes to the Blue House, the official residence for the Korean president, for dinner with outgoing head of state Myung Bak Lee, who leaves office Feb. 25.

    Isle of Man Athlete Dies at Special Olympics

    Isle of Man Floor Hockey athlete Gareth Derek Cowin, 25, died on Wednesday at Asan Hospital in Seoul. Special Olympics International announced the death of the Manxman on Thursday. Organizers said the Games would be named in his honor. 

    “This is a great loss for the Special Olympics movement and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his teammates,” a joint statement from SOI leadership and the Games Organizing Committee. “The entire Special Olympics family is grieving the loss of Gareth and we dedicate these Games in his honor. His delegation will continue with the World Games and have dedicated their competitions in his memory.”

    The cause of death as released by the hospital is refractory septic shock with multi-organ failure.

    Cowin arrived on January 26 and fell ill shortly after

    “He received the best treatment possible while he was here in Korea,” said his father, Kevin. “We are truly grateful for all that the staff of the hospital did to treat Gareth.”

    Written and reported in Korea by Ed Hula.

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