Sat, 23 Jan 2021

Thomas Bach will stand unopposed in the race to lead the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The 66-year-old German will be confirmed as the world's most powerful sports administrator at an IOC session next March in Athens.

If re-elected, his second term will start after the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August 2021 and end in 2025, a year after the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Bach, who won gold for West Germany in the foil fencing team event at the 1976 Olympics, was elected an IOC member at the age of 37.

He went on to hold influential roles within the organisation, notably as a founding member of the IOC's athletes' commission which gave a voice to competitors.

In 2013 he succeeded Jacques Rogge to become the ninth IOC president since the organisation's inception in June 1894.

Under his reign as IOC supremo, Bach has been forced to deal with the Russian state-sponsored doping scandal.

He has also had to withstand criticism over the huge costs of events such as the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and the 2016 Rio Summer Games.

Credit

On the upside, he has been lauded for implementing the Olympic Agenda 2020 - a series of reforms aimed at cutting costs and simplifying the methods for hosting an Olympic games.

Earlier this year as the coronavirus pandemic started to take hold, Bach appeared obdurate and out-of-touch when he repeatedly insisted that the Tokyo Games would continue as scheduled in July 2020.

After the withdrawal of the Canadian delegation due to fears over the health of their athletes, other Olympic committees pulled out.

Bach and the Japanese government eventually yielded to the burgeoning debacle and announced the event would be held between 23 July and 8 August 2021.

Orginally published on RFI

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