IOC President joins praise for John Coates as he stands down as President of the Australian Olympic Committee

30 Apr 2022
IOC News IOC President

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach was in Sydney on Saturday as IOC Vice-President John Coates stood down as President of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) after 32 years in charge.

IOC President joins praise for John Coates as he stands down as President of the Australian Olympic Committee IOC/Greg Martin

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the AOC, Coates told delegates: “Our Olympic team must always express that Australia is, or at the very least aspires to be, a peaceful, cohesive and equal society where everyone gets their chance. It is our independent pursuit of Olympic ideals which makes it possible for us to do what we do so well: to help Australia chase their dreams. Today, with a full heart, I thank you for giving me the chance to live mine.”

Paying a personal tribute, President Bach told attendees: “In the Olympic Movement, we know a lot about unique individuals. You may not have the grace and elegance of Cathy Freeman, and you may not have the dynamism of Dawn Fraser, but you are truly a ‘one-off’. You have changed the face of the Olympic Movement here in Australia. You are a champion, my friend.”

IOC President joins praise for John Coates as he stands down as President of the Australian Olympic Committee IOC/Greg Martin

Coates is the only National Olympic Committee (NOC) President who has succeeded in bringing the Olympic Games twice to their home country. He will continue as Honorary President of the AOC and as Vice-President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Brisbane 2032.

Later, in a vote at the AGM, the AOC chose Ian Chesterman to replace Coates at the head of the organisation.

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