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New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) president and Olympic medallist John Davies died today after a long battle with cancer.



Davies had been NZOC president since October, 2000, when he succeeded Sir David Beattie in the role.



His life had been dedicated to the Olympic movement, the NZOC said in a statement.

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He won a bronze medal in the 1500m at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, and a silver medal in the one mile event at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth.



He continued his connection with athletics after he retired from competition, coaching world champion and Olympic athletes.



Davies was elected NZOC president after his tenure in a similar post with the New Zealand Olympic Academy.



NZOC secretary general Barry Maister said Davies' John's death was a great loss.



"If there is one person who lived his life alongside the values of Olympism, it was John Davies," Maister said.



"He was dedicated to a belief that sport was more than just competition and more than just medal winning.



"John believed that sport played a major role in building character, allowing individuals the opportunity to conquer themselves.



"John Davies was a truly inspirational human being and he will be a great loss to the Olympic movement. Our thoughts are with his family and his great many friends at this sad time."



Davies was 65 and leaves behind his wife Patsy and two children.



- NZPA