Gian-Franco Kasper died on Friday at the age of 77 ©Getty Images

The sporting community has paid respects to former International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian-Franco Kasper, who died on Friday (July 9) at the age of 77, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

Kasper's death was confirmed yesterday, only a month after he stood down as the head of the FIS after 23 years.

The Swiss administrator was named an Honorary President of the FIS at the Congress last month, but was unable to attend after being hospitalised with breathing problems.

Kasper had been due to return home following a spell in hospital but then his condition deteriorated rapidly, as reported by 24 Heures.

He remained in hospital until his death.

Bach called the late Kasper "the personification of modern ski sport" in a statement today.

"For the entire Olympic Movement and for me, Gian-Franco Kasper was the personification of modern ski sport," said Bach.

"His achievements go far beyond his own sport and his own Federation.

"With all the reforms and adaptations in the past years under his leadership, he also changed the Olympic Winter Games.

"In all of this, he was always authentic.

"Nothing is more authentic than success, and the Olympic Movement has greatly benefited from Gian-Franco Kasper's success."

The IOC announced it would fly the Olympic flag at half-mast at Olympic House in Lausanne in respect to him.

IOC member and World Archery President Uğur Erdener said he was "better having known" Kasper in a tweet.

New FIS President Johan Eliasch yesterday called his predecessor "unique in the international sports community".

"He built FIS from a small federation, to the undisputed leader in winter sports, a testament to his vision and work ethic," he said.

"I had the privilege of knowing Gian-Franco for 25 years and shared many fond moments and stories with him. 

"His understated nature and his quick wit will be deeply missed within FIS and the international sports world."

The chairperson of the Russian Ski Association Elena Vyalbe called Kasper "a strong leader".

"He was a strong leader, a man with a capital letter, he served his cause with faith and truth for so many years, FIS kept on him and developed with him," said Vyalbe to Russian state news agency TASS.

World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari sent his condolences to Kasper's family.

Global Association of International Sports Federations President Rafaelle Chiulli called his contribution "immense", saying people would "miss him greatly".

Kasper was also an honorary member of the IOC, a former President of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations, a member of the Global Association of International Sports Federations and a member of the SportAccord Council.

He also served as vice-president of the IOC Olympic Channel Services and the IOC Coordination Commissions for six Winter Olympic Games.

He was also involved with the IOC Coordination Commission for two Winter Youth Olympic Games, chairing the Commission for Innsbruck 2012 and acting as a member for Lillehammer 2016.

He had been due to stand down as FIS President in June 2020 but stayed on for an additional year after the coronavirus pandemic forced the Congress to be postponed twice.