German Thomas Bach is the new president of the International Olympic Committee
Bach succeeds Belgian Jacques Rogge who is stepping down after 12 years in charge
Bach won on the second round of voting among 94 members of the IOC
Five other candidates, including Sergey Bubka, contested the election
German Thomas Bach was elected as the new president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in succession to Jacques Rogge following a ballot of 94 members of the IOC in Buenos Aires Tuesday.
Bach won on the second round of voting, beating off the challenge of five other contenders for the top job in the Olympic organization.
He has been elected for an initial eight year term to succeed the 71-year-old Rogge, who has stepped down after 12 years in charge.
Bach paid tribute to Rogge as he addressed IOC members following his election. “You are leaving a great legacy and a strong foundation on which we can continue to build the future of the IOC,” he said.
“This is an overwhelming sign of trust and confidence,” added Bach, who is the ninth president in the 119-year history of the IOC.
Ukrainian athletics great Sergey Bubka, Singapore’s Ng Ser Miang, Wu Ching-Kuo of Taiwan, Switzerland’s Denis Oswald and Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico were the unsuccessful candidates.
Bach achieved a majority in the second round by polling 49 votes. Carrion was the next best with 29. Former world pole vault champion Bubka received just four.
“I want to win your confidence too,” said Bach, referring to his beaten opponents. “I know of the great responsibility of being president of the IOC.”
The 59-year-old Bach is a lawyer by profession, but represented West Germany at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, winning a gold medal in fencing’s foil discipline.
He was one of four IOC vice-presidents, having been a member since 1991, serving during this period on the anti-doping commission.
An outspoken critic of doping, Bach commissioned an academic report, published in July, which alleged that like their East German neighbors, West German athletes had also been involved in malpractice during the Cold War and before the unification of the two countries.
His first task in succeeding Rogge will be to steer the IOC through the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, which has been dogged by controversy of Russia’s new anti-gay legislation, concerns over budget and fears of warm weather.
Under rules adopted in by the IOC in 1999, which ended lifetime terms for its delegates and presidents, Bach will initially serve for eight years, with the possibility of one further term of four years.