FIG mourns passing of former president Grandi

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has announced today (Friday) that former president Bruno Grandi, who led the organisation from 1997 to 2016, has passed away at the age of 85.

The Italian was also a member of the International Olympic Committee from 2000 to 2004 and a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations. Grandi passed away in his home country following an illness.

Grandi was a member of the junior Italian gymnastics team before becoming a coach of the country’s men’s team. He led the Italian Gymnastics Federation from 1977 to 2000 and also served as vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (CONI) from 1987 to 2005.

While at the FIG, Grandi oversaw a number of changes within gymnastics, including the scrapping of the perfect-10 scoring system following controversies at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

He also instituted a minimum age limit of 16 for women and 18 for men in international competitions in a move to combat the intensive training imposed on children in certain countries and reduce the risk of injuries.

By the end of his presidency, the number of FIG member federations had risen from around 120 to nearly 150. Sixteen different nations were represented on the podiums at Grandi’s final Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

FIG president Morinari Watanabe, who succeeded Grandi in 2016, said: “Today, we are mourning the loss of a warm-hearted man who showed us the way with all the passion he had for the sport.

“With unstoppable energy, he championed justice in sport and always placed the safety of athletes first. His values ​​and his spirit will continue to inspire us for years to come.”

The flag outside the FIG’s Lausanne office will fly at half-mast today following Grandi’s passing.