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Bach keen on getting started with new role

17 September, 2013

PARIS: Newly-elected International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach will move into his new office in Lausanne, Switzerland, today with little fanfare but with much to do.

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The 59-year-old German – who was elected in the second round of voting by fellow IOC members last Tuesday in Buenos Aires seeing off five rivals – has finished the celebrations and now it will be business only.

He will be received by his predecessor Jacques Rogge, who will also brief him on ongoing issues and hand over pertinent files.

While Bach's immediate challenge will be to ensure a successful Winter Games in Sochi in 2014 – his first official trip will be to Olympia in Greece to see the Olympic flame lit – he has highlighted longer term goals for his initial eight-year tenure.

In his post-election press conference he highlighted the fight against match-fixing and energising the young to go out and practice sports.

However, in a smaller more informal gathering with journalists the morning after he said he had another goal – that of fundamentally changing the mindset of cities that bid for the Olympic Games.

"I want to see a new approach to the bidding process," said Bach. "At the moment in our bid process we are asking too much, too early of the candidates.

"We approach bid cities like a tender for a business or for a franchise. This leads to a situation where bid books are written by the same people round the world."

Bach, the first Olympic gold medallist to become IOC president, said he wanted to see more involvement from locals.

"I would like to try and change this mentality," he said.

"I would invite the potential candidates to think about how the Olympic Games would fit into their city, their region and their country's development, their own sustainable development.

"This would allow them to have their own creativity in terms of ideas about their bid and this would lead to their population in the city/region being part of the bid at an early stage."


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