New NOC Chair To Focus On Indonesia 2032 Olympic Bid

Business and sport entrepreneur Raja Sapta Oktohari was acclaimed as Chair of the Indonesian Sports Committee Wednesday, and he immediately vowed to focus efforts on a 2032 Olympic bid for his country.

Indonesia Olympic Committee Chair Raja Sapta Oktohari (Oktohari/Instagram)

Indonesia Olympic Committee Chair Raja Sapta Oktohari (Oktohari/Instagram)

At the body’s national congress, Oktohari was congratulated by his predecessor Erick Thohir who was behind a letter-of-interest sent by Indonesia President Joko Widodo to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach in February proclaiming interest in a 2032 Olympic bid.

“We must fight during the [Olympics bidding] process,” Oktohari told the Jakarta Post.

“I also intend to take advantage of the role of Indonesia’s representative in the Asian Bicycle Race Confederation Congress to get help from other countries,” the President of the Indonesia Cycling Federation (ISSI) added.

He said that he’ll leverage networking at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to rally support for his nation’s bid.  Oktohari Chaired the organizing committee for the 2018 Asian Disability Games held in Jakarta.  He is also a boxing promoter.

Oktohari’s was elected to a four-year term ending in 2023.

“I hope that Raja Sapta Oktohari will become a bridge, not only to athletes, to the international world, but also to the government,” Thohir said.

The Jakarta–Palembang 2018 Asian Games served as a catalyst for Indonesia’s Olympic aspirations, but the recent announcement by President Widodo that Indonesia’s capital will move from sinking, polluted Jakarta to a new location in Borneo has raised concerns about the city’s readiness for 2032.

IOC President Thomas Bach (left) meets Indonesia's President Joko Widodo in Jakarta September 1, 2018 (IOC Photo)

IOC President Thomas Bach (left) meets Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo in Jakarta September 1, 2018 (IOC Photo)

Last week IOC President Bach confirmed that the 2032 host city would not be elected earlier than 2022, but potential applicants have already entered discussions with Olympic officials ahead of the formation of a new Future Host Committee.

A bid by the state of Queensland in Australia has been most active, with delegates visiting IOC headquarters and Bach last month.  Other interest has come from India, China, Russia, Germany, and joint projects between North and South Korea and Ukraine and Belarus.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil