News Column

Olympics Committe Elects New President

September 10, 2013

Japan Economic Newswire

Germany's Thomas Bach was named the ninth president of the International Olympic Committee to succeed Belgian Jacques Rogge on Tuesday, wrapping up a whirlwind week at the general session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Tokyo was elected the host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The election of Bach, who will guide the IOC over the next eight years and possibly an additional four-year term, kicked off a new decade of leadership, which will be integral to Tokyo's plans as it prepares to host one of the world's biggest sporting extravaganzas.

The 59-year lawyer, who is the first German to take the IOC helm, succeeds the 71-year-old Rogge, who ended his 12-year, two terms in office at the top of the sports world.

A gold medalist in fencing from the 1976 Montreal Games, Bach had the shiniest resume and was the favorite to win among six candidates.

Chairman of the IOC's legal commission, Bach has negotiated European television rights, chaired the IOC's Evaluation Commissions for both the Winter and Summer Games, and been a member of the IOC's policy-making board and the president of the German national body.

The six-man field also included IOC finance commission chairman Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico, IOC vice president Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, executive board members C.K. Wu of Taiwan and Sergey Bubka of Ukraine, and Swiss IOC member Denis Oswald.

Carrion and Ng were Bach's nearest challengers.

Wu was eliminated in the first round after losing to Ng in a tiebreaker. Bach received a majority of 49 votes in the runoff, while Carrion was second with 29, followed by Ng, with just six votes.

Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, presidents of the Olympic Council of Asia and the Association of National Olympic Committees, is widely believed to have used his powerful coalition to influence votes in the election of Tokyo for the 2020 Games and Bach to the presidency.

Eight of the nine IOC presidents beginning with Demetrius Vikelas from Greece (1894-1896) have come from Europe, the exception being Avery Brundage, the American who reigned from 1952 to 1972.

Earlier in the day, nine new IOC members were elected, including Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov and Lawrence Probst III, president of the United States Olympic Committee.

(c) 2013 Kyodo News International, Inc.

Original headline: Olympics: Thomas Bach elected 9th IOC president

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Source: (c) 2013 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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