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Thomas Bach, OLY (born 29 December 1953) is a German lawyer and former Olympic fencer. Bach is the ninth and current President of the International Olympic Committee, and a former member of the German Olympic Sports Confederation Executive Board.

Thomas Bach
Thomas Bach (13951010204).jpg
9th President of the IOC
Assumed office
10 September 2013
Preceded byJacques Rogge
Personal details
Born (1953-12-29) 29 December 1953 (age 65)
Würzburg, West Germany
Alma materUniversity of Würzburg
Sports career
Personal information
Height171 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Weight65 kg (143 lb)
ClubFencing-Club Tauberbischofsheim[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Thomas Bach was born in 1953 in Würzburg, West Germany. He grew up in Tauberbischofsheim, where he lived with his parents until 1977. Bach earned a doctor of law (Dr. iur. utr.) degree in 1983 from the University of Würzburg.[2][3][4] He speaks fluent French, English, Spanish and German.[5]

Fencing careerEdit

Bach is a former foil fencer who competed for West Germany. He won a team gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics,[1] as well as silver, gold, and bronze team medals at the 1973, 1977 and 1979 world championships, respectively.[6]

On 11 November 2017, Bach became the first Olympian formally granted the use of the post-nominal letters "OLY."[7]

DOSB presidencyEdit

Sign at the house of Thomas Bach from 1953–1977 at the Sonnenplatz in Tauberbischofsheim

Bach served as the President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), prior to becoming President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He resigned as the head of the DOSB on 16 September 2013, having served as President since 2006. He was replaced by Alfons Hörmann, and remained a member of the DOSB Executive Board. Additionally, he resigned as the head of Ghorfa Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Bach will however continue to serve as the head of Michael Weinig AG Company, a company in the industrial woodworking machinery industry that has its headquarters in Bach's hometown of Tauberbischofsheim, Germany[8]

Bach headed Munich's bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics.[9] In the host city election, Munich secured 25 votes as Pyeongchang was elected as host city with 63 votes.

IOC presidencyEdit

Like his predecessors Juan Antonio Samaranch and Jacques Rogge, Thomas Bach lives in the Lausanne Palace when he is in Lausanne.[10]

On 9 May 2013, Bach confirmed that he would run for President of the International Olympic Committee.[11][12]

2013 IOC Presidential ElectionEdit

Bach was elected to an eight-year term as IOC President at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires on 10 September 2013. He secured 49 votes in the final round of voting, giving him the majority needed to be elected. He succeeds Jacques Rogge who served as IOC President from 2001 to 2013.[13] Bach will be eligible to run for second six-year term at the 134th IOC Session in 2019 until 2025.[14]

Bach's successful election came against five other candidates, Sergey Bubka, Richard Carrión, Ng Ser Miang, Denis Oswald and Wu Ching-Kuo.[14] The result of the election was as follows:

Election of the 9th IOC President[15]
Candidate Round 1[16] Round 2
  Thomas Bach 43 49
  Sergey Bubka 8 4
  Richard Carrión 23 29
  Ng Ser Miang 6 6
  Denis Oswald 7 5
  Wu Ching-kuo 6

Bach officially moved into the IOC presidential office at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 17 September 2013, a week after being elected President.[17]

Olympic Agenda 2020Edit

Following his election as IOC President, Bach stated that he wished to change the Olympic bidding process and make sustainable development a priority. He stated that he felt that the current bidding process asks "too much, too early".[18] These proposed reforms became known as Olympic Agenda 2020. These forty proposed reforms were all unanimously approved at the 127th IOC Session in Monaco.

Olympic Host City electionsEdit

The first bidding process over which Thomas Bach presided over as President was the bidding process for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Bids were due in November 2013 and the host city, Beijing was elected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in July 2015. Lausanne was elected to host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics during that same session.

During the bidding process for the 2024 Summer Olympics, President Bach proposed a joint awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics after several bidders withdrew. The IOC later approved a plan to award the 2024 Olympics to Paris with Los Angeles securing the right to host the 2028 Olympics. President Bach presided over the election of Paris was elected to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Los Angeles was elected to host the 2028 Summer Olympics at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru where both cities were unanimously elected.

Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo was elected to host the 2026 Winter Olympics at the 134th IOC Session in Lausanne, Switzerland. The full IOC membership will elect the host city at the 134th IOC Session in Lausanne, home of the International Olympic Committee.

Russian dopingEdit

Thomas Bach's duties as IOC President have included responding to Russia's state-sponsored doping scandal. In an address to Olympic Committees at the national level, Bach criticized what he saw as a rush to judgment and stated that Russian athletes had a right to due process.[19] He led a meeting on December 5 which ultimately led to the exclusion of Russia from the 2018 Winter Games.[20] Speaking at the Opening Ceremonies of those games, his call to "respect the rules and stay clean" was widely interpreted as a reference to the Russian scandal.[21]


Marina Hyde admonished Thomas Bach in The Guardian for comparing the IOC positively to FIFA with regard to corruption.[22] Also in The Guardian, Owen Gibson accused Bach of hypocrisy for agreeing to be involved with the 2015 European Games hosted in Azerbaijan.[23] Twenty-nine journalists signed an open letter to Bach calling for him to condemn Azerbaijan's jailing of dissenters and attacks on freedom of expression.[24]

Bach was harshly criticized for what many see as turning a blind-eye to Russia's state-sponsored Olympic doping effort. Jim Walden, attorney for Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, who masterminded Russia's program, called Bach's move to reinstate the Russian Olympic Committee following the 2018 Winter Olympics, "weakness in the face of evil".[25]


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Thomas Bach". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Mr Thomas BACH – Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund , IOC Member since 1991". 29 December 1953. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Vita Thomas Bach : Olympiasieger im Fechten, DOSB-Präsident" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Rechtsanwalt Dr. iur. utr. Peter Zimmermann – About me – Dr. iur. utr". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Lord of the Rings: new IOC chief Thomas Bach | Sports | DW.COM | 10 September 2013". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  6. ^ Fechten – Weltmeisterschaften (Herren – Florett).
  7. ^ "ATR First: A New Honor for Olympians Only". Around The Rings. 11 November 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  8. ^ Mackay, Duncan (15 September 2013). "Exclusive: Bach to officially resign tomorrow from DOSB after being elected IOC President". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Exclusive: Quality of the 2020 Olympic bidders has put the IOC in a very comfortable position, reveals Bach".
  10. ^ (in French) Laurent Favre and Servan Peca, "Le CIO fait sa mue", Le Temps, Wednesday 15 April 2015, page 9.
  11. ^ "Nachfolger von Jacques Rogge: Thomas Bach kandidiert für IOC-Präsidentenamt". Spiegel Online. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Thomas Bach announces IOC presidential candidacy". 9 May 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  13. ^ Zaccardi, Nick. "Thomas Bach elected as ninth IOC president". NBC OlympicTalk. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Next IOC President to be elected this Tuesday". 9 September 2013. Archived from the original on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Thomas Bach elected new IOC President". Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  16. ^ Ser Miang Ng won round one tie-break vote with 56:36 against Ching-kuo Wu.
  17. ^ Mackay, Duncan (17 September 2013). "Bach moves into office at IOC headquarters after becoming new President". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  18. ^ IOC President Wants Changes. (11 September 2013)
  19. ^ Butler, Nick (2 November 2017). "Bach accuses critics of Olympic movement of ignorance and aggression". Inside the Games. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Ahead of Russia decision, Thomas Bach warns critics". NBC. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  21. ^ Lauletta, Tyler (9 February 2018). "IOC president Thomas Bach took a shot at Russian doping during his speech at opening ceremony". Business Insider. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  22. ^ Hyde, Marina (5 August 2016). "Fifa is awful but the Olympics take the gold medal for sleaze". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  23. ^ Gibson, Owen (26 June 2015). "Silence over European Games in Azerbaijan is a grim indication of future". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  24. ^ "Open Letter to Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee President, on Khadija Ismayilova's Imprisonment". Pen America. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  25. ^ CNN, Henry Young,. "Russian Olympic Committee's reinstatement is 'weakness in the face of evil', says lawyer". CNN. Retrieved 2 March 2018.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  26. ^ "Thomas Bach". UCAM. 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  27. ^ "Caid Essebsi decorates IOC President with Grand Cordon of National Merit in Sport". Tunisia News Gazzette. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  28. ^ "IOC chief Bach receives honorary doctorate | Photos | Kyodo News". Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  29. ^ "S. Korean president confers state decoration on IOC chief | Photos | Yonhap News". Retrieved 8 March 2018.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Manfred von Richthofen (Olympic official)
as President of the Deutscher Sportbund
President of the Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund
Succeeded by
Alfons Hörmann
Preceded by
Klaus Steinbach
as President of the Nationales
Olympisches Komitee für Deutschland
Preceded by
Jacques Rogge
President of the International Olympic Committee