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IOC presidential candidates gather in NY for forum

posted Jun 20, 2013, 2:08 PM by Unknown user
Kelly Whiteside, USA TODAY Sports6:40 p.m. EDT June 5, 2013

(Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky AP)


  • IOC members were guests at United Nations on Wednesday
  • International Forum on Sport for Peace & Development was under way
  • Bubka, former pole vault champion, is also running for IOC president

NEW YORK -- In three months, the International Olympic Committee will gather for its annual general meeting that will be anything but ordinary. When an observer notes the blockbuster agenda, IOC vice president Thomas Bach doesn't miss a beat.

"What is happening there?" he asks, deadpan.

Just about everything. A new IOC president will be selected – Bach is one of six candidates in the race to succeed Jacques Rogge, who steps down after 12 years. The host city for the 2020 Summer Games will be picked. And wrestling, baseball/softball or squash will join or rejoin the Olympics beginning with the 2020 Games.

On Wednesday, presidential lobbying was in full force at the headquarters of the United Nations, which served as host for the International Forum on Sport for Peace & Development. In between sessions, several candidates lingered in the lobby, sipping coffee and slapping backs.

Though all are powerful figures in the Olympic movement, none are easily identified by the average U.S. Olympic fan, except maybe for the strapping fellow standing off to the side -- pole vault great Sergei Bubka of Ukraine.

Bach is a former Olympic fencing gold medalist from Germany. The other candidates include vice president Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, finance commission chairman Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico, amateur boxing association head C.K. Wu of Taiwan and rowing federation chief Denis Oswald of Switzerland.

The U.S. Olympic Committee, clearly back in the good graces of the IOC, may not have a horse in the race, but it made plenty of friends Tuesday night when it hosted hundreds of international guests, including the candidates, at Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg may have been the only politician present, but there was plenty of politicking as the candidates circulated throughout the room, lobbying of course.