July 29, 2021

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COPUR loses an Olympic pillar with the death of judge Juan Rafael Torruella del Valle


He reached the highest awards of Olympism

Juan Rafael Torruella, (Photo Museo Olímpico Albergue Olímpico)

San Juan – The Puerto Rico Olympic Committee (COPUR) dresses in mourning for the loss of judge Juan Rafael Torruella del Valle today, Monday, who left a legacy in the Puerto Rico and international Olympic movement.

The five-time Olympian for the sport of sailing will be remembered by the Puerto Rican Olympic family for all his contributions in the competition, in the administrative and legal field of the sport. He was the founding president of the Puerto Rico Sailing Federation (1963) and in turn a delegate to the COPUR Plenary. He was present in Tokyo, Japan 1964; Mexico City, Mexico 1968; Munich, Germany 1972; Montreal, Canada 1976, and Los Angeles, United States 1984.

“He was always a tireless supporter and defender of the Olympic Committee, the principles and values ​​of the Olympic movement. For me it is a very heartfelt death, because he was always present since I met him as a delegate many years ago until today. He was always available to give me his advice, for any questions we had, “said the president of COPUR, Sara Rosario Vélez.

Torruella del Valle received the high honors awarded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC): the Olympic Order in 1998 and the Pierre de Coubertin medal in 2014. He stood out as president of the arbitration court of the London 2012 Olympic Games appointed by the president of the IOC, Thomas Bach.

“Despite being a prominent jurist in one of the highest forums in the United States, he always maintained his contact with Puerto Rico. He spent long periods in the country where he took the opportunity to participate in the activities of the Committee. He is an example of tenacity and dedication, qualities that reveal his great capacity, intelligence and excellent projection as a Puerto Rican in and outside of our country. Seeing a Puerto Rican, as was Judge Torruellas, in the highest forums is a reason for praise for all of us. We will miss him very much and the sport is more than grateful to him for all the contributions he made. Our condolences to his wife and family at this time, “added the President of COPUR.

Olympic anecdote

Within the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, according to the licensed and Olympic sailing, Eric Tulla, “I received a call from the United States White House where they were looking for Juan to inform him that the president of the nation, Ronald Reagan, was nominating to be judge of the First Federal Circuit of Appeals based in Boston. I ran to him to hand him the phone and there, within the Games, he received his news ”.

Tulla highlights that Torruella del Valle distinguished himself by being the first international regatta judge, steps that he emulated to now be the only one with this position for Puerto Rico. He remembered the feat of “Billo”, as the Puerto Rican sailing family affectionately called him, in touring South America with his boat El Danza, among other stories.

Olympic information https://www.olympic.org/juan-rafael-torruella-del-valle



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