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IOC President Thomas Bach steps down as German sports chief

Berlin: Newly-elected International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach stepped down as head of German sports on Monday as he prepares for his new post in Switzerland. Bach, voted in by a wide margin at the IOC Session last week, also stepped down as head of the Ghorfa Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a position that caused a stir prior to the vote due to the open support of Kuwait's influential IOC member, Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah. "More resignations will follow in the coming days," a German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) official said.
The 59-year-old, who became the first German to lead a major international sports organisation, was the founding president of the DOSB after the merger of the former German Olympic Committee and the German Sports Confederation in 2006.



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President Bach marks first day in office



One week to the day after being elected the ninth President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach officially took over the reins from his predecessor, Jacques Rogge, at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne on Tuesday.

President Bach spent his first day in meetings with Honorary President Rogge, IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper and the IOC directors. The day was capped with a reception for the IOC administration to welcome the new President and bid farewell to the former.

“President Bach and I were elected as IOC members at the same Session in 1991 in Birmingham, Great Britain,” Rogge reminisced. "He is an Olympic champion, a team builder, a sports leader. And he knows he can rely on you. I tell you, you can also rely on him.”

President Bach, who took the podium following a round of applause for the outgoing President, joked that he had received “a lot of advice – or instructions” from his predecessor over the last few days, drawing a hearty chuckle and reproaching gesture from Honorary President Rogge. “It doesn’t matter what you call it, I’ll follow it anyway,” President Bach responded.

The 59-year-old German is no stranger to the IOC headquarters or Lausanne, having spent 22 years as an IOC member and the last eight years on the IOC Executive Board. He was also the Founding President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), a post he resigned from on 16 September.

“One man alone or a group alone can never be successful. It always depends on the entire team – each and every person,” President Bach told the administration. “This is why I am looking to the future with great confidence. I have a really great team in front of me. I want you to continue to be a part of the team and to continue to contribute to build on the same successful path we have been on. There may be a different style because President Rogge and I are different persons, but not a different direction.”

President Bach’s first official trip will be to Olympia, Greece, on 29 September for the lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame, marking the start of the Olympic Torch Relay for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.


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Annual cost of an IOC President jumps above $700,000

September 25 - The annual cost of an International Olympic Committee (IOC) President has shot through the $700,000 (£440,000/€520,000) barrier.

As a new President, Thomas Bach, starts to settle into the rhythm of life in Lausanne, he may be interested to learn that the cost of his predecessor Jacques Rogge's residence expenses amounted to $751,000 (£470,000/€560,000) in 2011 and $709,000 (£440,000/€530,000) in 2012.

That 2011 figure appears, at first glance, to represent a steep - 25 per cent-plus - increase over the $597,000 (£370,000/€430,000) total for 2010.

This is largely, though, the result of currency fluctuations - the IOC's accounting currency, these days, is the United States dollar; yet, since he lives in Lausanne's Palace Hotel, the President's residence expenses are incurred in Swiss Francs.

When converted back into the Swiss currency, the annual rate of increase between 2010 and 2011 works out at closer to 7 per cent.

Apart from these expenses, which cover room rent, living costs, residence taxes and insurance - and add up to not far off $2,000 (£1,250/€1,500) a day - the IOC Presidency is an unremunerated position.

Rogge indicated earlier this year that he thought his successor should be paid a salary.

Bach, however, like Rogge, is to be a full-time unpaid volunteer.

The latest figures appear in the recently-published IOC final report.


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AP sources: Bach to hold retreat of IOC board By STEPHEN WILSON, AP Sports Writer

LONDON (AP) — New IOC President Thomas Bach will hold a four-day retreat of his policy-making body next month to discuss the future of the Olympics, The Associated Press has learned.

The executive board will gather from Dec. 11-14 at a hotel in the Swiss lakeside resort of Montreux, Olympic officials with knowledge of the decision told the AP. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting hasn't been announced.

The brainstorming sessions are expected to cover a range of issues, including possible changes to the Olympic sports program, a review of the bid city process and a proposed raising of the 70-year age limit for IOC members.

The retreat will follow immediately after the regularly scheduled one-day meeting of the executive board at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Dec. 10.

Regular IOC executive board meetings usually last two or three days and involve reports from various departments and Olympic host city organizers. By keeping the Dec. 10 meeting to just one day, the board can go into more depth and exchange views on all issues in a relaxed atmosphere in Montreux.

The move reflects Bach's determination and urgency to take charge and set his own agenda since being elected president Sept. 10, succeeding Jacques Rogge after 12 years in office.



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Raising the age limit - a clear signal he plans to rejuvenate the Olympic movement.

That one is a terrible idea.

It may well suggest a rejig of the bid process to make it more Durban-able, continental rotation perhaps?

I think there's zero chance of continental rotation.

If anything, they'll discuss bringing back bid city visits and finding ways to cut costs for the bidders.

I wish they'd change their voting system, but I don't think there's any chance of that.

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What voting system would you like AF?

I have explained this in another thread, but it was probably a couple of years ago.

I think the IOC should adopt the Academy Awards' preferential voting system. Please note, the order of preference is NOT weighted by points and therefore is not vulnerable to manipulation. Allow me to explain with a hypothetical scenario:

Each voter ranks their preferences in order. Imagine the candidates are Lviv, Almaty and Krakow.

The vote counters create one pile of ballots for each candidate. All the ballots that list a given city as the first choice go in that city's pile.

Lviv gets 30 #1 rankings

Almaty gets 40 #1 rankings

Krakow gets 35 #1 rankings

Lviv, having received the fewest votes, is eliminated. HOWEVER, all the Lviv voters ballots still count. Now the #2 Lviv votes are divided between the remaining competitors. Let's say 18 Lviv voters listed Krakow as their second choice and 12 Lviv voters listed Almaty as their second choice. The new count looks like this:

Almaty 52

Krakow 53

Krakow wins.

Because the rankings are not weighted, it is impossible to manipulate the system. There's no way to force out the top competition in the first round. It serves each voter best to list their real preferences. If every voter lists the candidates in order, an authentic result is achieved.

This is the system used to calculate the Oscar for Best Picture. They create one pile for each nominated film and after a film is eliminated, they take the pile of ballots that voted for the eliminated movie and redistribute them according to each voter's next choice until one movie has 50% +1.

Admittedly, this system removes the drama of live voting rounds because the preferential ballot is cast all at once. However, the approach is far more reliable than any other procedure.

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I quite like it, Athensfan.

it is similar in some ways to Australia's federal preferential voting system - however I don't think bid cities would be making 'preference deals' with other parties like you see here lol.

The current IOC system irks me. It IS open to manipulation - as we have seen many times before.

I would LOVE to see the 2012 and 2016 race happen again according to the Oscars system.

I'd say Rio still would have got 2016 - but perhaps London edged out by Paris for 2012.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wasn't sure where to post this, but I guess the thread on Bach's progress is appropriate as any:

Could Ueberroth have last word on Olympic TV network?

Peter Ueberroth cannot help but feel the irony in new International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach’s expressed intention to explore the idea of having the IOC form its own television network.

Bach went a step further in a conference call with reporters Saturday. After a four-day "brainstorming" meeting of IOC executive board members, he said the IOC had commissioned its Olympic Broadscasting Services to do a feasibility study. The IOC's general membership will discuss the idea in February, and a proposal could be presented for membership approval at an extraordinary session next December.

Ueberroth tried to implement the same idea domestically while he was chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee. His rationale was the same as Bach outlined during his successful campaign for the IOC presidency and then reiterated to reporters twice in the couple weeks.

``The Olympic sports do not have enough coverage and the Olympic sports need to be promoted also in the time between games,’’ Bach said in a conference call last week.

He could have been quoting Ueberroth, who said virtually the same thing many times, emphasizing how more exposure would help both current and future Olympic athletes.

``What you really want to do is see that as many young people as possible get a chance to learn about and play Olympic sports,’’ Ueberroth told the Associated Press in 2006.

Of course, Ueberroth went about executing the idea in his characteristic bull-in-the-china-shop manner, which led to friction between the USOC and IOC and was among the factors that undermined Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics.

Not long after Ueberroth’s tenure as USOC chairman ended in late 2008, the USOC completed a deal with Comcast to realize his vision and get a U.S. Olympic Network up and running, no matter that some saw it as a folly that would suck $25 million a year from the USOC coffers.

Comcast, then in the process of buying NBC, the Olympic TV rights-holder in the United States, was unaware the IOC had sent the USOC a cease-and-desist letter about the U.S. network, warning the USOC to back off until some contractual issues were resolved.

So Comcast immediately stepped away from the U.S. Olympic Network, which died aborning in April, 2010.

It may have simply lacked a long enough gestation period.

The idea of an IOC network still is a long way from even being further developed, let alone a reality.

But hearing Bach talk about it can only make one think Ueberroth was ahead of his time, just as he had been with the private financing plan used for the 1984 Summer Olympics he ran.

It was a plan born out of necessity that became the model for the global sponsorship programs that took the IOC from pauperdom to prosperity. The IOC’s current revenues would make bankrolling an international Olympic network possible.

And being ahead of one’s time is not without ironic precedent in Olympic television.

For the 1992 Olympics, NBC tried to satisfy U.S.viewers and TV critics who railed against its tape-delayed broadcasts and minimal coverage of many events by offering the “Triplecast,” which created à la carte live packages on pay-per-view cable channels. The Triplecast attracted just a handful of viewers, wound up losing a bundle and seemed all but forgotten.

Then the digital media revolution occurred, making a revised version of Triplecast relatively easy to bring off. At the London Olympics in 2012, the first for which Comcast was in charge of NBC, U.S. viewers had access to a free live stream of all competition and a skaziillion hours of live and taped TV coverage on several platforms, including over the air and cable.

Comcast will give the 2014 Sochi Olympics the same coverage – more than 1,000 hours of live streaming on nbcolympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app, plus an as-yet unspecified but large number of television hours of events taking place with a 10-hour time difference from Chicago.

Such history is instructive and interesting, but there is still no way to know whether an international Olympic network is an idea whose time will come.

If it does, Peter Ueberroth will have the right to say he told you so.

And it’s a safe bet he will do just that.

Chicago Tribune

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