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Lawyer tapped to lead International Olympic Committee

Posted Sep 11, 2013 2:57 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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Thomas Bach, a German lawyer and a former Olympic fencer, was voted president of the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday.

Previously an Adidas executive, the Guardian reports, Bach has wanted the committee presidency for a long time, and the campaign for his victory has been somewhat controversial. Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad al-Sabah, who is president of the Association of National Olympic Committees, is a Bach supporter, according to the article, and admitted to lobbying on Bach's behalf. That is a breach of IOC rules, the article states.

Bach denied that the sheikh orchestrated his campaign. As IOC president, he has promised to change the bidding system to get the Games, according to the Guardian, and make it cheaper to host them.

"This makes me happy. I want to lead the IOC according to my motto—unity in diversity. I want to be a president for all,” he said. "I will do my very best to balance well all the needs of the stakeholders of the Olympic movement. You should know my doors, my ears and my heart are always open to you."

In 1976, Bach won a fencing gold medal. He defeated five other candidates for the IOC president spot, which comes with an eight-year term.

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