Bach named new President of International Olympic Committee

Tuesday, 10 September 2013
By Duncan Mackay at The Hilton in Buenos Aires

IOC President Jacques Rogge announces that he will be succeeded by Thomas Bach, as the German looks on September 10 - Germany's Thomas Bach has today been named as the new President of the International Olympic Committee, the most powerful position in world sport, succeeding Jacques Rogge.

Jacques Rogge, whose 12-year term at the top of the Olympic Movement has ended, announced that the members had elected a new President after two rounds of voting which ended with Bach polling a majority 49 votes.

He finished ahead of Puerto Rico's Richard Carrion with 26, Singapore's Ser Miang Ng six, Switlzerland's Denis Oswald five and Ukraine's Sergey Bubka four.

An announcement was made an hour-and-a-quarter after the conclusion of voting at a special ceremony at 12.30pm here where Bach, 59-year-old lawyer and the long-time favourite to succeed Rogge, was officially unveiled.

Just as in the vote for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics last week, there was the need for a runoff in the first round between C K Wu and Ng, long considered to be Bach's main challenger, who polled six votes each.

Wu, President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), lost and was eliminated after Ng got 56 votes to his 36.

Bach had polled 43 in that first round with Carrion on 26, Bubka eight and Oswald seven 

But it proved to be fairly academic as the IOC members then elected a winner in the next round with only Bach having enough support to win so early ahead of the rest of the field.

Before the voting started - during an extended coffee break after the morning's earlier business was concluded quicker than expected - there had been pressure on Oswald to withdraw from the contest in the belief that some of his supporters would back Carrion, therefore increasing his chances.

But the Swiss, reprimanded yesterday by the IOC Ethics Commission for publicly criticising Bach and accusing him of exploiting his Olympic position for commercial gain, refused.

Thomas Bach is congratulated after his election as IOC President by Jacques Rogge, who received the Olympic Order to mark his 12 years in chargeThomas Bach is congratulated after his election as IOC President by Jacques Rogge, who received the Olympic Order to mark his 12 years in charge

Bach's election means that the most powerful position in world sport will remain in Europe.

The 1976 Olympic fencing gold medallist will become the ninth President of the IOC since it was founded in 1894 - and the eighth European.

The only non-European was American Avery Brundage, who held the position between 1952 and 1972.


"I would like to thank all my dear friends and colleagues who voted for me this morning," said Bach after Rogge had opened the envelope and read out his name.

"This is an overwhelming sign of trust and confidence.

"I would like to thank my fellow candidates, who I respect, and those who did not vote for me.

"I want to win your confidence too.

"I know about the great responsibilities of the job - this makes me humble.

"I want to lead the IOC by my motto, unity in diversity, I want to be a President for all of you.

"I will do my best to balance well the interests of all the stakeholders of the Olympic Movement.

"My door, ears and heart are always open to you."

Rogge, who is also resigning as a member of the IOC following this Session, was presented with the Olympic Order by Bach.

"Dear Jacques, I'd like to thank you," he said.

"You are leaving such a legacy and a strong foundation on which we can continue to build the future of the IOC.

"I would like to thank you for the trust you have placed in me for 12 years of your Presidency.

"I hope I can count on your good advice in the years to come."

Singapore's Ser Miang Ng, long considered to be Thomas Bach's main rival for the IOC President's role, looks on as his German rival is crowned by Jacques RoggeSingapore's Ser Miang Ng, long considered to be Thomas Bach's main rival for the IOC President's role, looks on as his German rival is crowned by Jacques Rogge

Ser Miang Ng, whose glum expression before the voting even started signalled that he feared the worst despite after months of intensive campaigning, was among the first to send his best wishes to Bach.

"I have already spoken to President Bach to congratulate him on his victory," he said.

"He ran a great campaign and is humble in triumph

"This is a time of great challenges 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 serve all to the best of my abilities.

"I would 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."

New IOC President Thomas Bach, seen here with Britain's Sir Craig Reedie waiting for the result of the election, was called by world leaders congratulating him on his victoryNew IOC President Thomas Bach, seen here with Britain's Sir Craig Reedie waiting for the result of the election, was called by world leaders congratulating him on his victory

Bach also received congraulations from world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Your election to the most important position in sports politics shows in an impressive way the prestige and confidence you enjoy within the Olympic family," Merkel told Bach, according to a German Government statement.

"I am very happy that, through you, Germany continues to be represented in an outstanding way at an international level,"

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