International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach joined the 10th anniversary celebrations of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) on Friday in Frankfurt. He led the organisation from its founding on 20 May 2006 until he was elected IOC President in September 2013.
The IOC President, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and DOSB President Alfons Hörmann delivered keynote addresses to the 650 guests in St. Paul's Church, a building with important political symbolism in Germany. Also in attendance were the President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), IOC Executive Board Member Patrick Joseph Hickey, and several Presidents of European National Olympic Committees (NOCs).
The DOSB was founded in 2006 after a merger of the NOC of Germany and the German Sports Confederation. “The merger is a success story,” President Bach told the audience: “Germany’s sport can be proud of this unity in diversity.” The DOSB unites 27 million people within 98 member organisations and 90,000 sports clubs.
Chancellor Merkel said: “Sport gives physical, social and emotional power to people. It decreases fear of contact and unites people. Congratulations and thank you, DOSB.”
In his speech, DOSB President Hörmann expressed the full support of his organisation for Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, and underlined the importance of good governance and the fight against doping.
President Bach also took the opportunity to present the Olympic Order to Ilse Bechthold, a former member of the IOC’s Women in Sport Commission and Chair of the Women’s Commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Mrs Bechthold worked to open doors for women in nearly every discipline that is practised in athletics. In 1998 she initiated the “Year of Women in Athletics” within the IAAF. She also conducted several clinics and courses around the world. A successful athlete in discus, shot put and pentathlon, her passion for sport also influenced her professional life. She taught physical education to thousands of future teachers at the University of Frankfurt and served as a spokesperson for female students.
In the afternoon the DOSB inaugurated its new headquarters. The building will be home to more than 160 employees and around a dozen sports organisations.