- POSTED: 11 Sep 2013 03:24
This graph is an experimental feature that tracks number of views over time.
Thomas Bach said that getting young people off the sofa and practising more sport was one of his main priorities after being elected International Olympic Committee president on Tuesday.
BUENOS AIRES - Thomas Bach said that getting young people off the sofa and practising more sport was one of his main priorities after being elected International Olympic Committee president on Tuesday.
The 59-year-old German - the first Olympic gold medallist to assume the most powerful job in sport - admitted to feeling very emotional at the honour bestowed upon him by his fellow IOC members.
He succeeds Jacques Rogge, who steps down after a largely successful 12 years in charge where he restored the image of the IOC after it was badly tarnished in the final years of Juan Antonio Samaranch's reign because of the bribes for votes scandal surrounding the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.
"This is a very emotional moment for me, to feel the great support of the IOC members," he said putting his hand to his heart.
However, Bach, 1976 Olympic gold medallist in the team foil fencing event for West Germany, said that while celebrating was on the agenda, next week work would being in earnest on a range of challenges facing him and his colleagues.
Taking up a theme that he and several of his five rivals had made a priority, he said the time had come to persuade the young that it was no good just watching sports but to get out there and put it into practice.
"It is not enough for youth to be consuming sport on TV and internet, our goal is to motivate them to make more sport," said Bach immediately after being elected.
Bach, who won in the second round of voting with 49 of the 93 votes cast, said that another immediate task would be to work on the Winter Olympics in Sochi, which is coming up fast in February.
"We have the challenge to organise the Sochi Winter Games, we have to prepare well and if so I am sure these Games will be a great success," he said.
Bach, who had been blasted by Swiss rival Denis Oswald on Monday over allegedly using his position to advance the interests of companies he is involved with and also his strong links to Kuwait, said there was much to be done within the organisation.
"We celebrate now and then we start work next week on the sustainability and feasibility of the Games, and take care of the credibility of the sport organisation."
Bach, who was doubly moved as he had been elected in the city where he won the team foil world title in 1977, added he would be giving the IOC members more say in what went on in terms of policy making decisions.
There have been rumblings from members that their views have been largely overlooked during Rogge's reign and that most decisions and debate had been the responsibility of the 15-person Executive Board.
"I will give the IOC members more possibilities to take part in the decision making process," he said.
Whether Bach measures up to these tasks will be seen as time goes on, said French IOC member Guy Drut.
"Thomas has all the required qualities to succeed Jacques Rogge," said Drut, who also won an Olympic gold medal in the 1976 Games in the 110m hurdles.
"But we should give him some time. The only way of seeing if someone is up to the job is when his back is against the wall and how he reacts when faced with a crisis."
Bach, whose interest in sports politics stemmed from his time as spokesman for the West German athletes during the debate over boycotting the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, also paid a handsome tribute to Rogge.
"I would like to say thank you for leaving such a strong foundation and for the confidence you placed in me over the past 12 years, it has been an honour to serve under you," said Bach.