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SBJ/Sept. 16-22, 2013/Olympics
Quotes from the IOC session
Published September 16, 2013, Page 28
IOC members offered their thoughts on the biggest issues facing new President Thomas Bach
■ Prince Albert II, Monaco: Although the numbers coming out of London in terms of TV viewers were great, we always have to find ways of making not only the Olympic program but the values that make up our movement still meaningful to younger generations and the public at large. We have to be careful that we don’t slide down the ladder.
■ Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, Kuwait: We still have illegal betting, the economy, doping is a major problem and [the] Sochi Winter Games. The mechanism for choosing sport, which sport to go out, which sport to go in. What is the criteria, what is the mechanism, should be more clear. There are a lot of issues for the movement.
■ Richard Carrión, Puerto Rico: We know that the revenue line will flat-line in the next quadrennium because I don’t think the television growth will show such a large increase. Flat-line may be overstating the case because there will be 10 to 15 percent growth in television revenue. We also have to deal with the impact of new media and how the economic model of new media will impact revenue and, more importantly, how we use new media to help people experience the Games. We will have to program for these new platforms.
■ Gunilla Lindberg, Sweden: We have a lot of things to work on. The Olympic program and the magnitude of the Games. It’s huge today.
■ John Coates, Australia: The biggest issue is Rio. There’s a fair bit of work to be done on that. The Olympic Games is what we’re here for and that’s what needs to be the priority.
■ Gerhard Heiberg, Norway: He has to sit with the sponsors we have and ensure he’s interested in helping and supporting them. He has to get into the business side and look at the questions we have with sponsors and TV partners. He has to make some business calls.
■ Patrick Baumann, Switzerland: Get the Rio Games on track. He needs to make sure they’re a success and as fast as possible. There are some obstacles to that. They have good people but there are issues.
■ René Fasel, Switzerland: The size of the Games and the cost of a Games for a city organizing it is a huge question mark. We have to try to find solutions. How can we reduce the cost of the investment a city has to do? How can we make it better for future bidding cities?
■ Kevan Gosper, Australia: The success of a president rests on the outcome of the Olympic Games, so his biggest challenge is to ensure Brazil is on track. Sochi is pretty much on track, but he’s got to involve himself in that.
■ Dick Pound, Canada: You’ve got to get your hands on the [Olympic sports program process] right away. Every time we try to do something we get it wrong. We get pushed into crazy decisions like there are 25 core sports rather than 28. I’m an Olympic fan, but we don’t have 25 core sports. We may have 15.
■ Angela Ruggiero, United States: You have to make sure you’re taking care of the athletes. In most cases, Olympians are still amateurs. We dedicate our lives to competing at the Olympic Games, so really understanding the struggles the athletes are going through is important. Pay attention to the athlete career program that helps transition from sport into careers afterward.