At the 137e session of the International Olympic Committee, held by videoconference, the German Thomas Bach was re-elected for a new four-year term as President of the IOC, which he has been leading since 2013. A few months before the Tokyo Summer Games (23 July-8 August) upset by the health crisis, the 67-year-old Bavarian was renewed almost unanimously, with 93 votes for and one against, while four IOC members abstained. Unless there is a change in the statutes of the body, it will have to hand over in 2025.
→ EXPLANATION. Why keep the Tokyo Olympics without foreign spectators?
The former Olympic fencing champion should have run for this second term in Athens, in the wake of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics supposed to celebrate the country’s reconstruction after the 2011 tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear accident. But the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the postponement of the Olympic high mass for one year, and the arrival of variants, more contagious, has since prevented any relaxation of health precautions.
“No reason to doubt that the ceremony will be held well on July 23”
“Tokyo remains the best prepared host city in Olympic history and, for now, we have no reason to doubt that the opening ceremony will be held well on July 23”, nevertheless assured the leader. “The question is not whether the Games will take place, but how”, hammered Thomas Bach, forced to convince each exit for months that the Olympics will not turn to the gigantic source of contamination.
→ PORTRAIT. Seiko Hashimoto, new president of the Tokyo Olympic Games Committee
For him, the multiple international competitions organized since summer 2020, “Without vaccination” while some of the participants in the Games may be vaccinated, “Prove” that such tournaments can take place “While preserving the health of all”.
More broadly, the session approved unanimously by voters plus four abstentions the results of its “Agenda 2020”, a roadmap adopted in 2014, of which “85%” of the proposals have been implemented. To the assets of the manager, long-term securing of the interests of the IOC, of its financial resources for the organization of the Olympic Games, threatened by the scarcity of candidatures and the explosion of costs. On the other hand, each edition of the Games has been marked by controversy, in particular the soap opera of Russian cheating in 2014, 2016 and 2018, pushing the IOC to encourage the centralization of doping tests by the young International Control Agency.