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IOC supremo Bach says he wants to be in charge for the Paris Olympics

Thomas Bach says he wants to lead the International Olympic Committee for another four years from 2021.
Thomas Bach says he wants to lead the International Olympic Committee for another four years from 2021. AFP/File
2 min

International Olympic Committee boss Thomas Bach has declared he is prepared to continue as the sports world’s most influential administrator until just after the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

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The 66-year-old German took over from Jacques Rogge in 2013 and his eight-year mandate runs out in June 2021.

But speaking at the 136th IOC session, Bach said: "If you, the IOC members, want, I am ready to run for a second term as IOC president and to continue to serve you and this Olympic movement we all love so much for another four years."

If he is successful, he will be the person who gives overall approval to the organisers of the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Bach, who won gold for West Germany in the foil fencing team event at the 1976 Olympics, claimed a large number of IOC members had approached him asking if he would seek re-election.

Encouragement

"I am grateful and deeply touched by the many words of encouragement and confidence," Bach said during the meeting that was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bach became an IOC member in the early 1990s and played a series of influential roles on the the body’s legal commission and as part of its fight against doping.

Under his reign as IOC supremo, Bach has had to withstand criticism over the huge costs of events such as the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and the 2016 Rio Summer Games.

He won plaudits though for installing the Olympic Agenda 2020 - a series of reforms aimed at cutting costs and making it easier and cheaper for cities wanting to host the winter or summer Olympics.

But in the run-up to the ultimately postponed Tokyo Olympics, Bach appeared to be stubborn, insensitive and out-of-touch as he insisted the games would go ahead as scheduled even as the coronavirus death toll rocketed.

The Tokyo event was finally put back until July 2021 after Canada and then other nations said their athletes would not travel to Japan even if the games were to go ahead.

 

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