Top Olympic Bid Stories of 2013: #3 IOC President Thomas Bach Vows to Improve Bid Process

#3 IOC President Thomas Bach Vows to Improve Bid Process

Former International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge was elected when the Olympic bidding process was in chaos, crippled by the Salt Lake City vote-buying scandal that first grabbed headlines in 1998. Reforms were in place that eliminated bid city visits by members and a new set of rules were being followed. Rogge’s presidency was about stabilizing the bidding process and regaining integrity and trust.

But with that achieved, new presidential candidates ahead of the September 9 election campaigned to improve the process by changing the format and perhaps reinstating bid city visits. These strategies were near the top of the list in candidate Thomas Bach’s so-called manifesto.

“The bidding process should be a real invitation for candidatures and should show that we embrace the different social, cultural, and political backgrounds,” Bach said during his campaign.

After his election, Bach immediately set forth to execute his plans, drawing up his “Olympic Agenda 2020” and embracing discussion to reinstate bid city visits and revising the applicant questionnaire to empower bids to be “more creative” with their proposals. He also spoke out against the use of a small pool of international consultants who created Games’ visions that lacked regional diversity and flavour.

His words are already creating change with at least one consultant turning away from supporting 2022 bids and the cities themselves announcing that they will do the work in-house without the consultants.

These new policies will change the way host cities are elected beginning with the 2022 Games and will have an even greater impact on the 2024 Games and beyond.

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About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.