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  • Former Guatemala NOC Chief Fernando Beltranena, 88


    Beltranena died July 13 in Guatemala City. (ATR)
    (ATR) Fernando Beltranena is remembered as an emblematic Olympic leader in Central America who helped land the 2007 IOC Session in Guatemala.

    Beltranena was president of the Guatemala Olympic Committee from 1993 to 2009. That span included the selection of Guatemala City as the host for the 2007 IOC Session. That session attracted international attention with Russian president Vladimir Putin travelling to Central America, along with heads of state from South Korea and Austria, to campaign for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Sochi was the winner over Pyeongchang and Salzburg.

    Dr. Fernando Beltranena Valladares was 88 when he died in Guatemala City July 13.

    He was an ophthalmologist by profession who spent much of his free time helping to build sport at the national level in Guatemala.

    "Dr. Beltranena leaves a transcendental contribution in the development of Guatemalan sports and the promotion of Olympic values in society, thanks to his great work in the leadership," says the statement of condolence of the Autonomous Sports Confederation of Guatemala.

    Beltranena also led the National Equestrian Association, was vice president
    Willi Kaltschmitt, Jacques Rogge, Mayor Alvaro Arzu and Fernando Beltranena at a ribbon cutting for the 2007 IOC Session. (ATR)
    of CDAG, the Pan American Sports Organization and held positions in the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization and the Sports Organization of Central America.

    IOC President Jacques Rogge presented Beltranena with the Pierre de Coubertin award in 2007.

    Pan Am Sports President sent condolences on his behalf and that of the Executive Committee, of which Beltranena was an honorary member.

    "Thank you, Don Fernando, for your dedication and passion for the sport. Rest in peace," said Ilic.

    "The family of the Guatemalan Olympic Movement says goodbye to one of its most beloved members," said a statement from the Guatemalan Olympic Committee.

    "His life and work transcended national Olympism," Willi Kaltschmitt tells Around the Rings. Kaltschmitt, a member of the IOC Executive Board who preceded Beltranena as COG president.

    Beltranena’s family included nine children, 26 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. He is survived by spouse Maria Mercedes Falla.

    The funeral will be held at Las Flores cemetery on July 20 at 1300.

    Reported by Miguel Hernandez.