POSTED: July 29th 2015

Olympics: IOC President Thomas Bach updated media on future Olympic Games and progress of Olympic Agenda 2020

Left to right... Mark Adams, IOC Director of Communications and Thomas Bach, IOC President / IOC Ian Jones
Left to right... Mark Adams, IOC Director of Communications and Thomas Bach, IOC President / IOC Ian Jones

The IOC Executive Board / IOC Ubald Rutar
The IOC Executive Board / IOC Ubald Rutar

DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ at the KUALA LUMPUR CONVENTION CENTER (KLCC) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC)  Early today President Thomas Bach presided over a press conference to report on the day and a half long Executive Board meetings that are preceding the start of the 128th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session tomorrow.  As part of the session on Friday, the vote and announcement of the winning bid cities for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2020 Youth Olympic Games will take place.

President Bach discussed the presentations made by the various organizing committees for upcoming Olympic Games including Rio 2016, PyeongChang 2018, and Tokyo 2020.

President Bach reported that he was "very confident" that the organizers of Rio 2016, scheduled to take place August 5-21 (Olympics) and September 7-18 (Paralympics), would deliver a great event.  He further reported that the Rio de Janeiro Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games was preparing well for the 44 test events that are taking place ahead of the Games.

He believes that "the situation with Rio de Janeiro is as always: great progress but no time to lose... great progress has been made at the Olympic Village and sports venues... the public transportation being delivered for the Games will be ready on time and leave a great legacy for the people of Rio de Janeiro."  While there are still some challenges to overcome, President Bach believes the Organizing Committee is addressing them, which he said "is the best way to take care of them."

President Bach next acknowledged the ongoing efforts of the organizing committee of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.  According to their report, they are making good progress on infrastructure and marketing efforts, including increasing their revenue target by 21% since June.  A statement provided last by the IOC added that "IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg, who had just returned from the fifth Project Review in the Olympic Winter Games 2018 host city, noted the excellent quality of venue construction, the increased collaboration with the Winter International Federations, and attributed the strong progress to the organization's new structure.

In reporting on Tokyo 2020, President Bach noted that the organizing committee has done an excellent job "embracing Olympic Agenda 2020 with fifty per cent of the venues will now be in existing venues, venues for 26 of the sports have already been approved, having saved $1.7 billion USD (from the revised Tokyo 2020 construction budget), and hundreds of millions more in savings in the pipeline with the new stadium compared to the old stadium."

President Bach the reported on the update the Executive Boar received regarding the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020.  He explained that "the Host City Contract for 2022 has been reviewed and will for the first time be made public by the IOC on 31 July, and the contract will include the significant anticipated contribution from the IOC for the organizers of $800 million USD or more."'

Another important announcement was the affirmation of the reduction of the Candidature Service Fee from $650,000 USD to $250,000 USD, and will be in three installment payments of $50,000 USD, $50,000 USD, and $150000 USD.  He also announced that the IOC will provide a significantly higher level of service to bid cities.  As reported by the IOC, "these decisions are in line with Recommendation 3 of Olympic Agenda 2020 to reduce the cost of bidding."

This decision was also made possible by the announcement that "in 15 months we have signed $14 billion USD worth of agreements so we are giving back some of this success to the Bid Cities," said President Bach.  These 18 agreements have brought in new revenue that also allows the IOC to redistribute over 90% of the money to support athletes and sport around the world, which equated to $3.25 million USD every day.

The press conference concluded with the announcement of the approval of innovations to the Youth Olympic Games for 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  President Bach said "there will be quite a few innovations and a more urban approach that will bring sports to the people rather than the people to the sports."  These innovations include more opportunities for female participation, as well as new sports being added to the program including BMX freestyle, kiteboarding and beach handball.  

DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ is a tenured Senior Lecturer of Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.  He has been an academician for 15 years in the areas of sport business management, international tourism, and hospitality management - with special focus on the areas of sport marketing, sport finance, tourism, and facility/event management.  He speaks globally and is the author of numerous publications in these areas, as well as been actively involved in consulting projects working with a multitude of sport and community organizations ranging from grassroots efforts to hallmark events.  

Keywords · Olympics · Kuala Lumpur 2015; 128th IOC Session; Thomas Bach; Rio 2016; PyeongChang 2018; Toyko 2020; Olympic Agenda 2020

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