Bach Wins IOC Presidency

(ATR) Thomas Bach of Germany has been elected the ninth president of the International Olympic Committee at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires.

“This is really an overwhelming sign of trust and confidence,” Bach said in thanking those who voted for him.

“I want to be president of all of you,” the German said. “This means that I will do my very best to balance well all the different interests of the stakeholders of the Olympic Movement. This is why I want to listen to you and enter into an ongoing dialogue with all.”

“My door, my ears, and my heart are always open to you.”

Bach thanked Rogge for leaving “a legacy and a strong foundation on which we all together can build a future” and also for the confidence he had placed in him. “I hope I can count on your good advice,” he said.

As new IOC president, he then presented Rogge with the Olympic Order in gold.

Bach discussed his vision of the presidency in an article originally publishedon Around the Rings on August 10, saying his experience as Olympian, IOC member and NOC president has prepared him to lead the IOC.

He describes the president of the IOC as the conductor of an orchestra “where you have many instruments and where each member should play the instrument he or she prefers.

“I think of the IOC President as a kind of conductor of this orchestra, responsible to bring out these talents, to allow these individual strengths to unfold,” Bach tells Around the Rings in a podcast interview.

Bach’s manifesto spans 14 pages, calling for more deliberation and debate among IOC members and flexibility in the way cities bid for the Games as well as the way IOC selects sports for the Olympic program. Bach endorses the idea of an Olympic television network to keep interest high in between Games.

He supports the Youth Olympic Games but believes a review after 2014 is needed. Bach says changes to the member retirement age of 70 should also be studied carefully.

“If you say you want to increase this, then again you have to be honest. You have to say, ‘What does it mean for the number of members?’ and ‘What does it mean for the reelection procedures?,’ ‘What does it mean for the overall structure of the IOC?,’ ‘What does it mean for the position of IF presidents?,’ ‘What does it mean for the position of NOC presidents?,’ and so on and so on,” says Bach.