Former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president and former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Dr. Celso ‘Cito’ Dayrit passed away on Wednesday, April 28, at the age of 69 years old.
The sports community in the Philippines mourns the passing of Dayrit who served as POC president from 1999 to 2004, and headed the PSC in 1993.
The POC said that Dayrit continued to embody the Olympic spirit with his involvement in the Olympic Solidarity Movement of the International Olympic Committee even after his term as president of the local Olympic committee came to an end.
“A champion for Filipino sports, he lived a life filled with compassion, dedication, and kindness,” the POC said on Thursday, April 29, in a statement.
“Mr. Dayrit represented Filipino sports in multiple capacities, leading the charge for athletic development,” the sports body added.
Dayrit also served as president of the Fencing Confederation of Asia for 15 years, and he also helped in organizing the 2005 Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines.
He received the Olympic Merit Award in 2006, and recognition from the Olympic Council of Asia in 2007 for his accomplishments.
“Philippine sports lost one of its brightest beacons and the world lost a beautiful, kind soul,” the POC said.
“POC officials join his bereaved family in requesting all sports-loving Filipinos and the general public prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of former POC President Cito Dayrit,” the organization added.
Reports stated that Dayrit passed away due to complications that stemmed from the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).