POSTED: May 24th 2015

IOC President Thomas Bach meets Italian President in Rome to receive top sports award

Italian President, Sergio Mattarella and IOC President Thomas Bach © CONI
Italian President, Sergio Mattarella and IOC President Thomas Bach © CONI

Italian President, Sergio Mattarella and IOC President Thomas Bach shake hands © CONI
Italian President, Sergio Mattarella and IOC President Thomas Bach shake hands © CONI

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach traveled to Rome to accept the Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) highest award for his contribution to sport.

President Bach began his day with a meeting with the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella at the Palazzo Quirinale. The two leaders discussed what benefits sport provides for society.

President Sergio Mattarella stated, "The world has many problems. Sport is the antidote to those problems because it enters the hearts and minds of people."

The two also talked about Rome's bid for the 2024 Summer Games. President Bach said Italy had a "very well placed" bid.

"With your great attachment to Olympic ideals, with your athletes and your love of sport you will have a strong bid," said President Bach about Italy's bid.

He added, "But you will face strong competition."

CONI President, Giovanni Malago and IOC Members, Mario Pescante and Franco Carraro also attended the meeting.

Also, President Bach met the Rome 2024 Olympic bid members as part of the Invitation Phase initiated by the Olympic Agenda 2020 reform framework. Members included Ignazio Marino, Mayor of Rome and leader Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo.

Later in the day, during the award ceremony, President Bach was given the "Onesti Award." The award was named after the long-term President of CONI who served for 34 years until 1978. In the citation, President Bach was praised for "carrying out reforms whilst also respecting tradition" and "immersing himself in his work with passion."

After receiving the award, Bach commented that he was, "glad to be in Italy where you fight for and defend the Olympic values."

Also attending the ceremony was Carlo Croce, President of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF); Bruno Grandi, President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG); Francesco Ricci Bitti, Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF); Ivo Ferriani, President of the International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation (FIBT); and Ottavio Cinquanta, President of the International Skating Union (ISU).

The previous recipients of the award where Italian sporting icons Pietro Mennea, Sara Simeoni, and Alberto Tomba along with former IOC Presidents Jacques Rogge and Juan Antonio Samaranch. 

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · IOC · Rome 2024 · Bach · Olympic

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