Athletics

Thomas Bach named new IOC president elected

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Bach won an Olympic gold in 1976. (©GettyImages)
Bach won an Olympic gold in 1976. (©GettyImages).

Germany's Thomas Bach has been elected as the new president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Replacing Jacques Rogge after the Frenchman's 12 year-tenure, Bach was most people's favourite for the post ahead of Tuesday's vote in Buenos Aires.

A fencing gold medallist for West Germany at the 1976 Olympic Games, 59-year-old Bach joined the IOC in 1991 and becomes the organisation's ninth president in its 119-year history.

The former Adidas executive was unveiled by his predecessor to the 102 IOC members present and will begin an initial eight-year term with the possibility of a second, four-year, mandate.

"This makes me happy. I want to lead the IOC according to my motto – unity in diversity. I want to be a president for all," said Bach.

"I will do my very best to balance well all the needs of the stakeholders of the Olympic movement. You should know my doors, my ears and my heart are always open to you."

Bach's rivals for the post included Singapore's Ng Ser Miang, Wu Ching Kuo of Taiwan, Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico, Ukrainian athletics legend Sergey Bubka and Denis Oswald of Switzerland.

Rogge has passed on a stable organisation, however issues surrounding both the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro will need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Sochi's event has been subject to political issues as well as delays and weather concerns, while Rio saw huge protests recently during the city's football World Cup 2014 rehearsal, the Confederations Cup.

In the long-term, Bach has pledged to overhaul the bidding process for the Games and attempt to make them a cheaper event to host.  

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Topics:
Athletics
Olympics
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