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Capsules of 6 IOC presidential candidates

September 9, 2013

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Capsules of the six IOC presidential candidates, listed in alphabetical order (election to be held Tuesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina):



Country: Germany.

Age: 59.

Occupation: Lawyer.

Olympic participation: Team fencing (foil) gold medal at 1976 Montreal Games.

Year joined IOC: 1991.

IOC roles: Member of executive board 1996-2004; vice president 2000-04; vice president since 2006; chairman of evaluation commissions for 2002 Winter Olympics and 2004 Summer Games; chairman of juridical and sport and law commissions; chairman of anti-doping disciplinary commissions; negotiator of European TV rights deals.

Other: President of German Olympic Sports Confederation since 2006.

Slogan: Unity in Diversity.

Pros: Ticks most boxes as former Olympic athlete, head of national Olympic committee, high-ranking IOC member with hands-on experience at all levels; relatively young; fluent French as well as English; comes from Europe, the biggest regional bloc in IOC; key support of Kuwait’s Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, influential head of Association of National Olympic Committees.

Cons: Longtime front-runner status puts target on back; “ABB” (Anybody But Bach) movement among some IOC members; recent report on systematic doping in former West Germany; backlash among some members to pro-Bach lobbying by Sheik Ahmad.

Quote: “The IOC president serves this orchestra as a conductor. I will do my very best to conduct the IOC in this way of participation, dialogue, consensus and motivation.”

Status: Favorite.



Country: Ukraine.

Age: 49.

Occupation: Sports administrator, businessman.

Olympic participation: Four-time Olympian in pole vault; gold medal winner at 1988 Seoul Games. Also a six-time world champion and still world-record holder.

Year joined IOC: 2008.

IOC roles: Member of executive board as athlete representative 2000-08; regular member of executive board since 2012; chairman of athletes’ commission 2002-08; chairman of evaluation and coordination commissions for 2010 Youth Olympics; chairman of entourage commission since 2010.

Other: President of Ukraine Olympic Committee; vice president of IAAF.

Slogan: An Olympic Movement Fit for the Future.

Pros: Most famous name among the candidates as pole vault great; young, energetic former athlete; high-ranking positions in IOC, IAAF and national Olympic committee.

Cons: Viewed as too young.

Quote: “I have passion. I have drive. I have energy to dedicate to the movement which gave me basically everything I have. Sport is in my life. Sport is in my genes.”

Status: Longshot.



Country: Puerto Rico.

Age: 60.

Occupation: Banker.

Olympic participation: none.

Year joined IOC: 1990.

IOC roles: member of executive board 2004-12; chairman of finance commission since 2002; chairman of audit committee since 2006; negotiator of U.S. television rights deals.

Other: Chairman and CEO of Popular Inc. and Banco Popular of Puerto Rico; board member of FIBA (international basketball federation) since 2010.

Pros: IOC’s top finance man; negotiated record $4.38 billion deal with NBC for U.S. TV rights through 2020; has overseen growth of IOC’s reserves from $100 million to $900 million; distinguished public presence; made strong impact in July presentation to members in emotional speech without notes.

Cons: Lack of Olympic sporting background; pigeonholed as a money man; no clear regional backing.

Quote: “We are an organization that is based on values and strong emotions. The minute we forget that, then we’re lost.”

Status: Main challenger.



Country: Switzerland.

Age: 67.

Occupation: Lawyer.

Olympic participation: Three-time Olympian in rowing, winner of bronze medal in fours at 1968 Mexico Games.

Year joined IOC: 1991.

IOC roles: Member of executive board 2000-12; chairman of coordination commissions for 2004 Athens and 2012 London Olympics.

Other: President of international rowing federation (FISA) since 1989; president of Association of Summer International Olympic Federations (ASOIF) 2000-12; arbitrator on Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Slogan: My 5 Rings.

Pros: Extensive experience; high-profile roles in IOC and international sports federations; legal background; well known among the members; fluent in French, English, German; a European alternative to Bach.

Cons: Age; associated with Swiss control of IOC; identified with old guard rather than new generation.

Quote: “My 40 years of service to the Olympic movement have provided me with a comprehensive understanding of our organization as well as its role and significance in the wider world.”

Status: Outsider.



Country: Singapore.

Age: 64.

Occupation: Businessman, diplomat.

Olympic participation: None.

Year joined IOC: 1998.

IOC roles: Member of executive board since 2005; vice president since 2009.

Other: President of organizing committee of 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics; vice president of international sailing federation 1994-98; non-resident Singapore ambassador to Norway.

Pros: Candidate from Asia, continent of increasing influence; organizer of inaugural Youth Olympics; affable personality; popular with members; diplomatic experience.

Cons: Seen by some as “too nice”; lack of unanimous Asian backing.

Quote: “I am proud to be Asian, but I’m also global. To lead a world organization, it is necessary to have a world view. Being from Asia is also advantageous because I would bring to the table a different perspective.”

Status: No. 2 challenger.



Country: Taiwan.

Age: 66.

Profession: Architect.

Olympic participation: None.

Year joined IOC: 1988.

IOC roles: member of executive board since 2012.

Other: President of International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) since 2006.

Slogan: Beyond Olympism, Together.

Pros: Asian candidate; credited with reforming AIBA after replacing corruption-tainted Anwar Chowdhry; longest-serving member of the six candidates.

Cons: Age; lack of influence at highest IOC levels; Taiwan’s relations with China, which regards the self-governing island as part of its territory and objects to diplomatic recognition accorded to Taipei.

Quote: “I truly believe that the IOC now needs a leader who is able to harmonize all relationships, delegate his responsibilities to the members and support them in the realization of the Olympic ideals and beyond.”

Status: Longshot.

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