IOC President looks back at 2016 and sets tone for promising 2017

08 Dec 2016
IOC News

Talking to the media, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, wrapped up the last meeting of the Executive Board of the year 2016.

The success of Rio 2016

“There are different ways to look at the success of Rio 2016,” Bach said. “There are the facts and figures. With half of the world’s population watching the Games, Rio 2016 were the most consumed Olympic Games ever. These figures show the great appeal and the relevance of the Olympic Games.”

“The other evaluation concerns the perception of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement,” Bach continued. “We were very encouraged that so many positive attributes were associated with Rio, many more than was the case for London 2012. Both results together give us a strong foundation to address the challenges that we have ahead of us. We have many reasons to be happy and proud but no reasons to be complacent. Challenges will not disappear,” he noted.

Clean Olympic Games

“We had prepared for clean Olympic Games in Rio,” Bach pointed out. “The retesting programme designed with WADA, the NADOs and the IFs has proven to be very successful and prevented 41 athletes from participating in Rio. Some more results might follow. The first analysis already shows that this retesting raised concerns with regard to some countries, in particular Russia, and some sports, in particular weightlifting. We will have to analyse this in more depth and consult and cooperate with WADA on this matter.”

Upcoming challenges

Looking at immediate challenges, President Bach said: “The immediate challenge is to follow up on the McLaren report with our two commissions [Schmid and Oswald]. We have to grow the Olympic Channel. We need to give our input to the WADA reform process, prepare for PyeongChang 2018 and continue to work with Tokyo 2020 in particular with regard to the budget,” Bach indicated.

“We also need to further study the candidature process beyond 2024,” Bach insisted. “We are happy with the field for 2024, but we see that since the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020 there are more changes in the decision-making mechanisms in politics. You can see that in many countries, not only in Europe, but in other continents too, you have populist and anti-establishment movements getting stronger and asking different questions with regard to the candidature procedure. We need to review the current system as it produces too many losers. You may be happy with a large field of candidates, but very soon the system produces many losers and the purpose is to produce the best host,” the President said. On being asked, he also made clear that the candidature process for 2024 is underway and will continue as planned.

We feel we are in a good position to drive change in 2017 and beyond after this overall successful year. Thomas Bach IOC President
“We feel we are in a good position to drive change in 2017 and beyond after this overall successful year,” the President concluded.

IOC Executive Board Meeting Lausanne, 8.12.2016 IOC/Christophe Moratal

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