POSTED: September 10th 2013
Bach elected International Olympic Committee President after two-round majority vote
CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications
(SFC) The International Olympic Committee members at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires Sunday elected German Thomas Bach as just the ninth president in the 119-year history of the organisation.
Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka, Puerto Rico’s Richard Carrion, Singapore’s Ser Miang Ng, Switzerland’s Denis Oswald and Chinese Taipei’s Ching-kuo Wu were beaten by Bach through two rounds of voting in Buenos Aires.
Carrion received 23 votes in the first round and 29 votes in the second round, the most behind Bach’s 43 and 49 in the first and second rounds, respectively.
“Thank you very much to all of you,” Bach said at the 125th IOC Session. “First of all, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart all my dear friends and colleagues who voted for me this morning. This is really an overwhelming sign of trust and confidence. But I would also like to thank my fellow candidates, who I greatly respect, and all those who did not vote for me this time. I will also work for and with you in the coming years and want to win your confidence, too.”
Bach replaces Jacques Rogge, who presided over the IOC for the two terms of eight years and four years, respectively. Bach will serve the first term of eight years before the possibility of being reelected for a second, four-year term.
“I know about the great responsibility of an IOC President,” Bach said. “This makes me humble. I want to lead the IOC according to my motto: ‘unity in diversity.’ I want to be a President for all of you. This means 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 to enter into an ongoing dialogue with all of you. You should know that my door, my ears, and my heart are always open for you.”
Bach is the first Olympic gold medal winner to head the IOC after winning gold in team fencing for West Germany in 1976. Bach’s manifesto states he wants to keep the Olympic Games “unique” and not “diluted by other events,” while ensuring the awarding of the Games is based on “the interest of the IOC in an in-depth review and risk analysis of a bid on the one hand, and the interest of a potential bidder in a social and promotional return on investment in the other.”
“I have already spoken to President Bach to congratulate him on his victory,” Ser Miang Ng said. “He ran a great campaign and is humble in triumph.
“This is a time of great challenge for the Olympic Movement, and I wish President Bach the very best of success in guiding the IOC as we move into a new and exciting era.
“I ran for IOC President because I was concerned by the challenges facing world sport and because I felt I could make a difference. President Bach shares my concerns, and I know that the Olympic Movement is in good shape with him at the helm. I am a big believer in the Olympic Movement, the Membership, and our new President and I will continue to preserve all to the best of my abilities.
“I would also like to thank my colleagues, family, friends and the public for their unwavering support over the past few months. This truly was an exciting chapter of my life.”
“Rio 2016 warmly congratulates Thomas Bach on his election to President of the International Olympic Committee at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires today,” Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman said. “We look forward to benefitting from his leadership, guidance and wealth of experience as we continue to work in very close partnership with the IOC on our journey towards hosting the first Games in South America in three years’ time.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to pay homage to Dr. Jacques Rogge, who has led the IOC with integrity, vision and innovation for 12 outstanding years. During his stewardship the Olympic Movement has gone from strength to strength and among other remarkable achievements, the manner in which Olympic youth sport has flourished during his tenure is an inspiration to all of us at Rio 2016. With the 2016 Games in Rio followed by the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, we thank the IOC, and President Rogge in particular, for truly brining the Olympic spirit to our continent.”
“On behalf of Olympians across the globe I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Thomas Bach on his election as the new IOC President,” World Olympians Association President Joel Bouzou said. “Thomas brings fantastic experience to the Presidency and we are very proud that an Olympian has once again been elected to the highest office in the Olympic Movement.
“We are honoured that as IOC President Thomas will also now be WOA Honorary President and we are looking forward to working closely with him in the promotion of Olympism and the work of Olympians everywhere.”
Other important decisions made in Buenos Aires during the 125th IOC Session include Tokyo being awarded the hosting rights for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games and Wrestling being reinstated to the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games Programme.
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