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Amid scenes more akin to a totalitarian state, Thomas Bach was re-elected on Wednesday as president of the International Olympic Committee by 93 votes to one after a series of lavish tributes from IOC members.
Bach, who took charge of the Olympic movement in 2013 and will now serve until 2025, immediately set his sights on running a successful Tokyo Olympic Games and guiding the IOC through the social and financial “aftershocks” of a post Covid-19 world as part of his Agenda 2020+5 proposals.
Intriguingly Bach confirmed that while a decision on whether to allow foreign spectators would be taken “as soon as possible”, organisers were willing to wait until May or June before deciding how many fans could be admitted into stadiums.
“It’s a question of the safety and security of everyone,” Bach said. “And a question of capacity in the stadia as to how many spectators are admitted. This is a decision which will have to be taken as late as possible. We need to leave the door open in order to take into account all developments that take place, even in May and June.”
Earlier in the day, more than 30 IOC members took it in turns to tell Bach how they had been inspired by his leadership. The response of Samira Asghari of Afghanistan was typical. “You look fresh!” she told him. “You make us stronger than ever! All of us are on the right track.”
Luis Alberto Moreno of Colombia had a similar observation: “We should all be proud about your vision! We are very proud of your leadership!”
Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul of Thailand told Bach: “You have been the captain of our ship. You have our complete trust. During these challenging times no one can be better than you, Mr Thomas Bach, to navigate us through tough waters.”
Bach, who at one point appeared in tears, said: “I could listen to this until midnight and tomorrow. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart for this overwhelming vote of confidence and trust.”
His roadmap for the next five years was unanimously approved.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Bach re-elected IOC president and ready to wait on decision over fans in Tokyo | International Olympic Committee