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Volume 6 No. 213


The successor to IOC President Jacques Rogge "will remain an unpaid volunteer after all six presidential hopefuls turned down the idea of a salary," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Rogge, who will step down in September after 12 years in charge, "had recently suggested that the IOC Presidency should be a paid position" as the duties of leading the world's biggest multi-sports organization amounted to a full-time job. Six candidates "have stepped forward" to succeed Rogge. Elections are set for Sept. 10 at the IOC session in Buenos Aires. Rogge: "We discussed the issue of remuneration and I explained why I launched the idea. All six of them said they did not want to be remunerated, so that settles the matter for these elections" (REUTERS, 5/31). The AP reported Rogge is "already looking ahead to his final day in office." Rogge: "I am definitely in the last stretch. I see the finish line and I see the ribbon, and on the ribbon it is written 10th of September, 2013. I hope to cross it in good shape, leaving a strong, well-organized IOC to my successor and having fulfilled my duty" (AP, 5/31). CNA reported Taiwan's Wu Ching-kuo "was elected" to the Association of Summer Olympic Int'l Federations Council. Pundits said that Wu's election to the ruling body "can be seen as a boost in his running" for the IOC presidency (CNA, 5/31).

WRESTLING'S RETURN: In another piece, REUTERS' Grohmann reported a "shock" IOC decision to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games program, and then include it in a shortlist of sports for those Games "was no mistake." Rogge: "I do not see shortcomings in the system, I do not see errors in the system." The IOC set out to revamp the Games program "to make it more relevant to a younger generation of fans and sponsors." However, with wrestling back as a candidate for inclusion, "the procedure has been heavily criticised for having achieved little change." Rogge: "We do not want change for change. The purpose is to have the best possible Olympic Games." IOC VP Thomas Bach, seen as a frontrunner to succeed Rogge, said that wrestling "had got the message and shaped up just in time." Bach: "Wrestling gave a very good presentation, you could clearly see they got the message" (REUTERS, 5/31).

An attempt to push Muay Thai to become an Olympic sport has suffered a blow after its governing body, Int'l Federation of Muaythai Amateur, failed to get recognition from the IOC. The organization will get another chance at an IOC meeting in December (BANGKOK POST, 6/2). ... Community sports fields in Langho, England are sharing a £100,000 ($151,820) Olympic "lottery windfall to stop matches being called off due to flooding." It is hoped Sport England awards of £50,000 ($75,910) each to Langho FC and Great Harwood Cricket Club will end problems during poor weather. New drainage systems will be installed (LANCASHIRE TELEGRAPH, 5/31). ... Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas has "expressed his concern about protests that paralyzed the city for two days and his fear that these incidents could could affect Istanbul's candidacy to host the 2020 Olympic Games." Topbas said, "How will we explain the images of what has occurred in Istanbul, images that have spread around the world? How do we try to attract the 2020 Olympics here like this? I believe we lose everything with this" (EFE, 6/2).