Reaction to Thomas Bach’s appointment as IOC president

(Reuters) – Thomas Bach was elected president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday, succeeding Belgium’s Jacques Rogge.

The election of the German maintains Europe’s stranglehold on the most powerful job in world sport.

Following is a selection of reaction to Bach’s appointment:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “I would like to congratulate you very warmly on your election as president of the International Olympic Committee. Your election to this very important sports political body impressively shows the respect and trust you enjoy within the Olympic family. I am delighted that Germany will continue to be outstandingly represented on the international level by you.”

Outgoing IOC president Jacques Rogge: “I’m very happy that we will have a very good next president of the IOC and I am glad and proud to be able to hand him over an IOC that is in a good state. I wish he will be successful in the challenges he will have to face in the future. He will do a very good job.”

Unsuccessful candidate Richard Carrion, of Puerto Rico: “I thought I had a realistic chance so I went for it. I gave it my best shot but came up just short. Unfortunately there is no silver medals in this competition… now I will have to go on a diet because I think I have gained 10 kilos from all these lunches and beer.”

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: “The election of Thomas Bach is a recognition of his work, but also a distinction for our country. I congratulate him… For the first time a German will have this challenging role. His election shows the high recognition for his sporting achievement and his decades of untiring service for the Olympic ideal. It is also a big honour for our country. I’m grateful to him for his service to Germany and wish him much luck and success for his new great challenge.”

Fellow candidate and world pole-vault record holder Sergei Bubka: “I will continue to serve the Olympic movement because this is my life. I am happy. We are all united behind Thomas and we will all work together for the Olympic programme.”

Singaporean Ng Ser Miang: “I ran for IOC President because I was concerned by the challenges facing world sport and because I felt I could make a difference. President Bach shares my concerns, and I know that the Olympic Movement is in good shape with him at the helm.”

Losing candidate CK Wu, of Taiwan: “We are united. We have a new president and we need to support the new president now and work together.”

Influential IOC Kuwaiti member Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, a public supporter of Bach: “All candidates were very good colleagues and friends and good for the Olympic movement. Bach is one of the best, who can provide good leadership for this organization. The movement showed today solidarity and move forward to the benefit of Olympic ideals, youth and athletes.

Swiss fellow presidential candidate Denis Oswald: “It is certainly a good choice, he has the experience, he has been an athlete. He can offer a lot to the Olympic movement. When you race you want to win and when you have winners you have others in second or third place. It has been a very interesting experience, I must say… I learnt a lot, at my age.”

Thomas Bach 2
Thomas Bach 2


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