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The IOC President Thomas Bach has joined sporting leaders around the world in honouring Jonah Lomu for his contribution to modern rugby.  

"Jonah Lomu was a player who changed the face of modern rugby," said President Bach. "He was an icon not just for New Zealand fans but for all rugby fans around the world. It is sad that he did not live to see the sport return to the Olympic Games next year in Rio de Janeiro.  He will be sadly missed by everyone and all our thoughts are with his family at this sad time." 

Kereyn Smith, CEO of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, also acknowledged Lomu's contribution to the Olympic Movement and Commonwealth Games sport. 

"Rugby sevens first appeared on the Commonwealth Games programme in 1998 and Jonah made his mark as part of New Zealand's gold medal-winning team," she said. 

"He went on to inspire young people all around the world with his achievements on the field of play as well as his determination, warmth and humility. His ability to connect with global audiences and his passion for rugby saw him play a key role in supporting the game's successful bid for a spot in its sevens format on the Olympic programme from 2016. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jonah's family at this time." 

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has also received condolence messages from National Olympic Committees around the world.


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